Mother of woman burned alive by boyfriend speaks out about domestic violence

- It's a nightmare situation, something nobody ever expects to deal with.

But the phone call Friday morning telling Wendy Stepanchak that her 36-year-old daughter had been burned alive by her boyfriend was all too real. And the timing made it even worse.

October is domestic violence awareness month, and the event was already the second domestic-related murder to happen in the past week after a south Minneapolis man reportedly strangled his wife just a few weeks after she had filed for divorce. 

It's a storyline that's all too common, Stepanchak says, and entirely preventable.

"I told her so many times to get out, to please get out. He's going to kill you!" she said. "I don't know why but it didn't sink in."

Vanessa Danielson ultimately died of her injuries, causing unmeasurable pain for a family that had spent months trying to get her help--even taking out a restraining order against her boyfriend.

The man charged for her death, Wyndale Fayson, had been put in jail late last month for violating that court order, though he was released soon after.

Now, Stepanchak is simply hoping that her daughter's story can inspire someone else to leave a domestic abuse situation.

"We don't know why they stay," she said. "Just keep offering your help and offering your resources and hopefully they'll listen."

Danielson leaves behind a 5-year-old son named Julius.

Fayson was about to be sentenced for previous abuse charges later this month, though he's currently still in the hospital with serious burn injuries. 

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