A former West Seneca woman slain in Florida had frequently been abused by the boyfriend who shot her and left her body in a garage where it was found eight days later, authorities and family members said Tuesday.
The body of Wendy Dusza, 34, was discovered Saturday night at their Tampa condominium complex. She had been shot once in the head, authorities said.
Police issued a warrant for Trevor McGinty, 30, and traced him Sunday to a Gainesville, Fla., motel room, where he apparently shot himself to death.
Police reports and family members described an abusive relationship that Dusza was unable to escape.
"She was a great person, a very loving mom," her daughter, Brittany Klodzinski, 14, said Tuesday by telephone from her grandmother's home in West Seneca. "We did a lot of things together before she met Trevor."
"He was always abusive toward her every time I was with them, and he was drinking," Brittany added. "He would always hit her or push her or throw her around."
Brittany had refused to return to her mother's home in Florida after coming here this summer to stay with her father, Michael Klodzinski Jr., and his family.
"We are just amazed, at her age, that she could see that she had to remove herself from this situation," said Deborah Klodzinski, Brittany's grandmother. "We were amazed."
According to records from the Hernando County (Fla.) Sheriff's Office, an attack last February led to a domestic battery charge against McGinty.
"Wendy walked through the house and was 'slammed' around a few times in the garage," the investigating deputy wrote in his report. "Trevor pulled her hair and slammed her on the ground. She advised [us] he threw her around like a 'rag doll' and pushed her. I did observe an area on the left side of Wendy's head where there was hair missing."
The report also accused McGinty of pushing Brittany, calling her names, throwing her stereo and PlayStation 2 game to the floor and trying to pull her off her bed before her mother walked into the room.
Brittany's grandmother also said the teenager had been grounded, in her bedroom, for months at a time.
"Wendy's mother tried to get her out of the situation," Deborah Klodzinski said. "Her brothers tried to get her out of the situation. And Brittany tried to get her out."
But she didn't get out, and that apparently cost her her life.
Family members reported Dusza missing Friday after failing to hear from her for days. Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies who went into the couple's condo found the couple's dog and cat, which uncharacteristically had been left with no food or water.
Saturday night, after obtaining a search warrant, sheriff's deputies entered the nearby garage, where they found her body. They later determined that she had been killed in the couple's condominium, probably in the early-morning hours of Oct. 26.
After obtaining information tying McGinty to the killing, authorities tracked him to the Gainesville area, about two hours away, where his vehicle was spotted at a Holiday Inn.
Gainesville police called in their SWAT Team.
"They tried to make contact with him," said Debbie Carter, a Hillsborough County sheriff's spokeswoman. "At that time, he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound."