Young Mom Killed by Long-Range Bullet Fired Across Lake Was a ‘Beautiful Soul’

via Fox 8
via Fox 8

The woman killed this week after a bullet flew across a lake and into her head was a young mom who was lounging on a couch inside her Ohio home after watching Fourth of July fireworks, her boyfriend said.

Chelsey Jones, 26, leaves behind her two daughters, aged six and three, as well as her partner Michael Hartney, he told News 5 ABC. No arrests have been made in the freak incident, which unfolded Monday night.

“It’s just a one-in-a-million freak, senseless accident,” Hartney said.

The family had stayed up until 10:30 p.m. watching fireworks at their home in Akron, Hartney recalled. But when they headed inside for the night, Hartney said Jones stayed downstairs to watch TV while he retired to bed.

A little over an hour later, Hartney said a bullet flew through a window that faced the lake and struck Jones as he slept. He was awakened by her moans and rushed downstairs.

There, Hartney said he found Jones lying in a pile of blood. He noticed a lump on her head, but had no idea at the time it was from a gunshot. He called 911.

“Police first started asking questions about if we had weapons in the house or she was suicidal,” Hartney said, according to News 5 ABC. “And I’m like, ‘Why are you asking about guns?’ That’s when they broke the news that it was a gunshot wound to the head.”

A report from the Summit County medical examiner confirmed that Jones died from a bullet wound to the head.

Authorities don’t know who fired the shot and Akron Police Lieutenant Michael Miller admitted that tracking down Jones’ killer could be “challenging.” Video from the home shot by Fox 8 shows a bullet hole in the bottom-right corner of a window.

Two 9mm casings were found on a boat dock a quarter mile across Summit Lake where Jones and Hartney lived, though it isn’t confirmed those casings are from the bullet that killed Jones, police said.

Dozens flooded Facebook with pictures and posts to mourn the loss of Jones, calling the young mother a “beautiful soul” that was “always smiling and so bright.”

“Life truly isn't fair,” wrote Amber Lynn Foster, tagging Jones. “My heart has been broken since I got the call yesterday. You are such a beautiful soul and you should have been with us for many more years. I don't understand how this even happened. My wedding day won't be the same without you standing with us. I love you always.”

Another poster, Brooke Wilson, said Jones remained on life support Wednesday to allow her organs to be donated.

“Please pray that her life is able to save lives and help as many people as possible,” Wilson said.

Wilson, Foster and Hartney did not respond to interview requests by The Daily Beast through Facebook messenger and phone calls.

Hartney told News 5 ABC he thinks the shooting was “probably an accident” and he pleaded with those responsible to turn themselves in.

Officials from Summit County Crimestoppers said Wednesday a reward of up to $5,000 will be given to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and indictment.

“I know it was probably an accident,” said Hartney. “I know it wasn't malicious, but they need to be held accountable for what they did. They took away my girlfriend. They took away my soon-to-be fiancée. They took away two girls’ mother."

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