Family and friends attended the funeral of 22-year-old murder victim Tiffany Salter. (WRDW-TV / July 17, 2012)
News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, July 17, 2012
HEPHZIBAH, Ga.-- News 12's cameras were the only ones rolling as family and friends gathered to say goodbye to 22-year-old Tiffany Salter.
Her funeral comes after investigators say her boyfriend of five years strangled her to death and then dug a hole for her body in the woods behind their home.
Salter's family says her boyfriend, 24-year-old Todd Goff, was abusive.
Family and friends wore purple ribbons at her funeral in support of domestic violence awareness. It was a visual reminder of the reason they were all gathered.
"Rest in peace my little sister, no one can ever hurt you again," those words came from a poem written by Tiffany's older brother, Michael Salter. He received the news while he was serving in Afghanistan.
He said, "I told my deck commander, and they got me on the first plane out."
He spoke at her funeral, reminding family and friends of the Tiffany they all knew and loved.
"Some things Tiffany never had to think about was her smile, she was always smiling," he said.
Tiffany's body will be cremated. It's a decision her father put a lot of thought into.
"Todd had dug a hole to put my little girl in, and I'll be damned if I'll finish the job for him. It's the only way I can bring her home for good, and protect her so nobody can ever get to her again," he told News 12's Laura Warren.
The service was a sea of purple to bring awareness to domestic violence.
"All she ever wanted was for him to love her as much as she loved him. And I think that's the problem with every battered woman," John Salter said.
Many tears were shed as countless friends and family members said their goodbyes, and even though today's service provided some closure, her family says it will be a long time before they can forgive Goff.
"Todd took Tiffany from us a long time ago, and now there's no way we can get her back," Michael Salter said.
"May God have mercy on his soul, because he'll find none here," John Salter said.
There is an account set up at Regions Bank in Tiffany's name. Once the funeral costs are paid, all of the extra funds will go to Safe Homes of Augusta.