Jennifer Smith frequently made calls to her family in Siler City, complaining about troubles with her ex-boyfriend.
But early Tuesday morning, she called police.
She believed her ex, Jacquece Forest, was in the woods behind her northeast Charlotte duplex.
Officers came out to the home on Malibu Drive, and after conducting a thorough search for the subject, officers were unable to locate the man, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said in a statement.
Hours later, Smith was found dead in the home along with Luc Eric Gonzalez, her new boyfriend. Both were 25. Forest, 28, has been charged with two counts of murder.
Family members wondered Tuesday whether police could have done more to save the UNC Charlotte graduate, whom they described as a chatty mother of one son.
Even though (police) didnt find nobody, why didnt they hang around there a little bit longer? said her aunt, Brenda Morgan. They should have left somebody there with her because hes out there in the woods. Thats trouble right there.
By happenstance, Forest came in contact with police around 3 a.m. Officers in the nearby Hickory Grove division stopped a speeding vehicle driven by Forest near the intersection of Harris and Keyway boulevards.
Police said Forest ran to a nearby apartment, but was caught by officers and arrested. He was taken to Carolinas Medical Center-University for medical treatment.
There, police said, he told hospital staff that he had shot his girlfriend.
Capt. Nick Pellicone of the North Tryon Division said officers went to the home on Malibu Drive, where they found Smith and Gonzalez dead.
A child who was at the home was not injured, and was being cared for Tuesday by an agency that works with children who are witnesses or victims of violence, Pellicone said. Morgan said the childs name is Javon; the 2-year-old is the son of Smith and Forest.
Morgan described her niece as a straight-A student who earned a scholarship to UNCC. After graduating, she decided to settle down in Charlotte, taking a job in customer service.
It was difficult for Smith to be so far away from her home and her support network, Morgan said, especially when troubles arose with Forest.
Theres so many times Id overhear my daughter talking on the phone and (Smith) was talking about how bad he was, Morgan said.
In 2009, Forest was charged with assault on a female and drug possession, although the assault charge was ultimately dropped. A victims name is not listed on a computerized version of the record.
Recently, the tone of Smiths calls to her family had begun to change.
She had a new friend, Morgan said. She was trying to start her life over. Staff researcher Maria David contributed.