Murder victim’s mother begged daughter to leave boyfriend months earlier

Virginia Kelly mourns the loss of her daught
Copyright KXLY 4 News Now

SPOKANE, Wash. — The mother of a woman shot to death inside a Hillyard apartment said she begged her daughter to break up with her boyfriend months before the murder. Police say Joshua Forrester admitted to shooting his girlfriend, 24-year-old Aliana Johnson, hours after she tried to end their relationship.

He’s being held on first degree murder charges; a judge set his bond at $1 million.

I don’t understand how you love somebody, how you can do this to them, said Virginia Kelly, Johnson’s mother. She was caring, loving, would give the shirt off her back. She was everything a mother could ask for.

Kelly said her daughter stayed with Forrester because she wanted their one-year-old son to grow up in a house with two parents.

I don’t think she had the power to pull away.

Police found the couple’s son inside the apartment, unharmed. Kelly said she’s already fighting Forrester’s family for custody of the child, all while planning her daughter’s funeral.

Something a parent should never do [for] any of their children.

Kelly said she is disabled and living on a fixed income. She doesn’t know how she’s going to pay for her daughter’s funeral and cremation which is why she set up a fundraiser on Facebook.

Spokane County has a higher rate of domestic violence than the rest of the state and even the national average. The YWCA offers a 24-hour domestic violence hotline (509)-326-CALL (2255) for anyone struggling to escape a violent relationship.

News of Thursday’s murder has the Spokane Regional Domestic Violence Coalition speaking out. In a statement sent to 4 news now they said in part:

“The coalition is saddened by the recent loss related to domestic violence and firearms in our community. We are currently working on a nationally awarded firearms technical assistance project as stories like these are all too familiar.”