SPOKANE, Wash. - Domestic violence continues to be a leading factor in murders in Spokane County, but the crime can occur anywhere. One Cheney family is sharing their heartbreaking story of loss in hopes it will encourage other potential victims to seek help.

"She was so well liked," Mykayla Bolieu said of her sister Sativa Transue. "Everyone loved her."
 
It's been a month since Sativa, a 26-year-old Cheney native, was found brutally killed. Family members say Sativa and her boyfriend Taylor Allen, 31, were on a Thanksgiving getaway to Mexico. They say her boyfriend was taken into custody shortly after Sativa's body was found, where he has remained since.
 
They are working with an attorney in Mexico and are hopeful for justice. They are always sharing warning signs for other families who may have a loved one in an abusive relationship.
 
"I went to see my sister in August, and she had holes in her walls and her bedroom," said Mykayla.
 
She says Sativa told her they were the result of outbursts from her boyfriend, and at first, she wasn't overly worried about it. But then, the family took note of more red flags.
 
"She would stop coming home for birthday (parties) or Christmas, she didn't come home last year," she said. "And, when she did, he'd ignore her. There would be consequences for coming to visit us. It started getting really, really bad when we said something. I don't know if he knew, but she'd start seeing us less and less."
 
And that included Thanksgiving of 2021. Sativa told her family that she was headed to Mexico with Taylor. Mykayla says initially, her sister said the trip was amazing and that she was loving the sunshine. It would be the last conversation the sisters would ever have.
 
Last month, Mykayla says her mother received a phone call from the US Consulate letting them know Sativa had been found deceased. The began working with attorneys in Mexico to gain more information about what had happened. She says they learned the couple was spotted fighting in a bar before Sativa was found dead. They've been told the couple made it back to their hotel room from the bar, and that at one point, Sativa had an injury requiring stitches. Hours later, the family says video captured her boyfriend leaving the room.
 
"He went to the lobby in his underwear, he had just showered and said my girlfriend is unconscious and not breathing and was looking at his phone the whole time," Mykayla said.
 
The family was told investigators found a horrifying scene.
 
"They said she was beaten and then strangled," she said. "She was found face down on the floor."
 
The family is now overwhelmed with grief, but through it all, they want to try to reach other victims out there who are struggling. They want them to know there is help out there.
 
"Please, get help," Mykayla said. "Don't stay because you feel like you have to stay."
 
The family has been collecting donations to pay for their fight for justice and attorney fees. Any funds remaining will be donated to local domestic violence resources.
 
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