Despite obtaining protection orders against her boyfriend, Amy Rene Hargrove had few illusions about her safety.
“A piece of paper isn’t going to save my life when he finally gets me, but at least you will know who killed me,” wrote Hargrove in a 2012 petition to King County Superior Court for a protection order against her former boyfriend, the father of her third child.
The 28-year-old mother of four was found dead in a bedroom of the Juanita neighborhood home she’d grown up in on Monday.
Hargrove, who also went by Amy Gang, died of “manual strangulation,” according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Some of the victim’s friends told reporters Hargrove had moved back into her mother’s house because of fears about her safety.
Kirkland Police Department spokesman Lt. Mike Murray said the victim’s 27-year-old former boyfriend has been interviewed but not arrested. He said detectives are still investigating the case, following other leads and waiting for the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab to process evidence.
The ex-boyfriend is not being named by The Seattle Times because he has not been charged in connection with the slaying.
According to court documents, Hargrove first sought an order of protection against the man in 2012 during a custody battle.
Hargrove wrote that she had endured years of violent abuse at the hands of her former boyfriend.
In addition to calling and threatening her repeatedly at all hours of the day and night, she said, he threw her across a room during a visit with their child, stole her debit card and drained her account.
On other occasions, he fractured her eye socket, injured her cats, broke 13 cellphones and led police on a high-speed chase from Bellevue to Lynnwood with her children in the car.
The chase, in which the former boyfriend is alleged to have reached speeds of up to 120 miles per hour, ended when a police pit maneuver, a technique to stop fleeing vehicles, caused the car to flip into a ditch, she wrote.
Hargrove said her former boyfriend assaulted her while she was pregnant, raped her at gunpoint and forced her to have sex with someone else.
The 2012 order of protection was granted and 10 days after it expired in 2013, Hargrove sought another one, which was to remain in effect until May 2014, court documents show.
In the 2013 request — which also ordered the ex-boyfriend to seek anger-management treatment and drug and alcohol counseling — Hargrove wrote that her ex had violated the protection order numerous times even though he had been in jail for much of the year.
“I still live in great fear of him on a daily basis,” she wrote in April.
Court documents show that Hargrove’s ex-boyfriend has a criminal record that includes drug crimes and multiple domestic-violence-assault charges, including one that was filed when he was a juvenile and another in 2009.
In 2009, prosecutors said the man had punched his then-girlfriend in the face eight times with a closed fist. He was angry, the woman told police, because she wanted to go home.
He allegedly assaulted her, then took her cellphone away and took her to his house, court documents say.
The former girlfriend initially did not want to give a statement to police or assist prosecutors, saying she did not want to report the incident, provide a written statement or have her name associated with the case “because she feared retaliation,” court documents say.
When reached Thursday night, the Mercer Island woman sobbed when told of the slaying and investigation.
“Oh my God, oh my God,” she said before declining to talk further.
In Hargrove’s initial request for protection, she wrote about her fear and her resignation.
“I have come so close to dying due to (his) anger,” she wrote. “He has no control and leaving him I thought I would (lose) my life. … He wants revenge on me because I left him. … He will do anything to get revenge after I file this order.”
Seattle Times reporter Sara Jean Green and news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report.