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Celebration of life held on Mother’s Day for mother of 5 found murdered in her home

Published: May. 8, 2022 at 11:05 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A heartbreaking Mother’s Day for a family still in shock that a young mother of five was killed in front of three of her children.

Even more painful, Sunday would have been her 45th birthday.

Tara Howard was found shot to death around 3:30 a.m. Friday inside her home on East 125th Street in the Buckeye-Shaker neighborhood.

Neighbors tell 19 News they heard an argument and then a gunshot. One of the victim’s daughters ran across the street to get help, as one of her son’s fought to protect her according to family members.

Sharon Howard of Wellington is Tara’s mother and is devastated, saying she was supposed to celebrate Mother’s Day with her daughter, instead, she’s planning a funeral, “Domestic violence is serious and we’ve got to start taking it seriously because this is what happened to my daughter. The signs were there but nobody paid attention. It was too late and then when it happened, it happened and it happened in the worst way.”

Tara’s family believes she died allegedly at the hands of her boyfriend, her mother Sharon tells 19 News, “I knew something was wrong. And I know he wasn’t right. But I didn’t want to argue with her about it.”

But, instead of a vigil focused on her death, her family held a celebration to honor Tara’s life on Mother’s Day, “She was beyond beautiful,” lifelong friend Jody Henry said.

Beautiful inside and out with a big heart is how everyone seemed to describe the Cleveland mother, originally from Wellington, and as the people who loved her most in the world gathered around her home, another long time friend Shelley Maze said, “The strongest of people can fall into it because you trust people. You’re empathetic. She was very empathetic.”

Tara was also known as a community crusader focused on making life better for others, “She took people in until they her. But it didn’t matter she still took them in and did what she had to do to get them up on their feet,” Sharon Howard said.

Now a mother in her daughter’s memory has a message for other young women victimized by domestic violence, “Tell somebody, talk to somebody and my favorite word is know your worth. Because you’re worth it.”

Court records confirm Tara Howard’s boyfriend Charm L. Gray was arrested by Cleveland Police shortly after the crime. He’s charged with aggravated murder.

A rally and march in Tara’s memory will be held on Saturday, May 14th at 1:00 p.m. in the 3000 block of East 125th Street. Two dozen organizations are expected to be on hand, including some specifically focused on helping domestic violence victims find someplace safe.

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