Tierne Ewing, a 48-year-old from Pennsylvania, had a protective order against her husband. In June this year, he abducted her and held her hostage in their Washington County home. He spat on her, taped her mouth shut, bound her hands and tied a cord around her neck. He savagely pistol-whipped her, later stapling up a severe gash on her head.
After 12 days, a bruised and battered Tierne escaped when her husband sent her into the bank to withdraw money. The police arrived and he, Kevin Ewing, was charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, false imprisonment and other offenses.
So why was Tierne found dead – at her husband’s hands – on Tuesday?
Just days after Kevin’s arrest in July, he unexpectedly posted the $100,000 bond. One prosecutor asked Common Pleas Judge Gary Gilman to raise the amount and put him back in jail – given the severity of his charges. The judge declined.
Kevin walked free.
Judge Gilman ordered that Kevin be confined to his home with an ankle monitor (while awaiting his trial). But the ankle monitor was all too easy to cut off. And his victim – all too easy to track down.
On Tuesday night, Tierne was found dead in a deserted barn near the border of West Virginia. According to police, she had been shot twice – once in the body, once in the head.
Kevin Ewing was found alive in the barn with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He has since been ruled brain-dead.
"I'm lucky [the police] got him before I did," Tierne Ewing's grieving father, Richard Kopko, told reporters.
"He threatened her all the time. He's beat her up several times. I tried to get her away, but I don't know what the deal was, but, well, it's over now ...
"She told me years ago, 'Dad, if you can't ever find me, I'll be buried on his dad's farm.'"