Funeral services are being held today for the Miami University student that police say was shot and killed by her 27-year-old ex-boyfriend before he fatally shot himself.
Rebecca Eldemire, 21, is remembered by her friends, family and co-workers at Miami’s BEST (Business, Engineering, Science, Technology) Library as a woman who had a passion for ecology and the environment.
“She was a very special young lady. I am so incredibly fortunate to have had her on our student staff,” said Jerome Conley, the dean of University Libraries at Miami. “The contributions in which she made will be forever something we remember.”
The Butler County Coroner on Monday ruled Eldemire’s death a homicide, the result of gunshot wounds to the head. Her ex-boyfriend 27-year-old Larry E. Tipton shot and killed her Sunday before fatally shooting himself, according to police. Tipton’s death was ruled a suicide, according to the coroner.
Eldemire’s supervisor, Kevin Messner, the interim director of the BEST Library, remembered Eldemire as one of his top employees, telling this news outlet that the staff was still reeling Tuesday from her death.
“Students are getting over a lot of shock right now, as are the faculty,” he said.
Messner said he would most remember Eldemire’s “smile and laughter.”
“She was a really engaging personality for everybody who worked with her,” he said. “When she came into the room, she drew attention to herself. Not purposefully — she wasn’t an attention-seeker by any means, but she was a very well-liked person.”
Eldemire warned police Saturday night that her ex-boyfriend had turned violent when she broke up with him just hours earlier.
She told a 911 dispatcher that Tipton had reacted to the break-up by “throwing things” and yelling. Tipton owned guns, and now he was just 15 minutes away from her apartment, she told police on the call.
“I’m just a little nervous about the situation,” she said. Tipton had told Eldemire he was making the roughly two-and-a-half hour drive from a Columbus suburb because he wanted to talk. Tipton, she added, had never hurt her before.
Her call to police that night wasn’t enough to prevent Tipton from gunning down Eldemire in her apartment bedroom that Sunday morning. Police say he then turned the gun on himself. Moments later, police say they discovered the revolver pinned between their two bodies on her bed.
After finding the bodies, Oxford police contacted Columbus police to search Tipton’s apartment on Cyprus Pond Road in Taylor Station, Ohio. Inside, officers found a suicide note and an empty gun case, according to an affidavit filed in Franklin County Municipal Court.
“As you can imagine, this horrible tragedy has left our family in shock and absolutely heartbroken,” Larry and MaryBeth Tipton said in a statement. “To lose our son, and also Becca, whom we loved like a member of our family, is unthinkable. We ask that our privacy be respected as we cope with this as a family and appreciate the prayers and understanding of our friends and community.”
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