TACOMA, Wash. - The family of Nodra Hursey is speaking out days after her estranged husband, 55-year-old Joseph Ricky Emile, was charged with aggravated first-degree murder and violation of a court order.
"He had a grip on her," said Nordra’s sister-in-law Kelley Bracher-Hursey. "She had just come back to us."
Sitting around their Tacoma family home, Nodra’s family spoke openly with FOX 13 News about their grief and the issue of domestic violence.
"It’s hard," said Jason Hursey, "but it’s helpful that we have the kind of family that we have where we can come together in a time like this."
Jason is Nodra’s younger brother. The youngest of six, he flew in from Florida with his wife to be with his family, including his sister’s three surviving children.
"They are 16, 13, and 10," he said. "Right now we’re making sure they have the love they need and the resources to get through this."
On Tuesday, prosecutors charged Nodra’s estranged husband with killing his wife in the presence of their three young children. He entered a not guilty plea and his bail was set at $5 million dollars.
According to police, an unconscious woman, later identified by family as 47-year-old Nodra Hursey-Emile, was found at a home in the 6200 block of South Cheyenne Street about 4 a.m. Saturday. Tacoma Police Department officers were initially dispatched to a family disturbance. Nodra Emile died at the hospital.
Witnesses told police Emile was arguing with his estranged wife in an upstairs bathroom. The couple’s children were also upstairs and crying.
Emile was later arrested after he was located in Tacoma.
"We have to be here for them," said Nodra’s brother, speaking about his niece and nephews.
Family members have since set up an online fundraiser to help with the children’s needs moving forward.
"We all have to step up," said Nodra’s sister Helen Ward. "I may have to help parent her kids and it’s going to be an honor to make sure they go in the right direction and keep their mother’s legacy alive."
Described as a passionate mother, dedicated to her children’s needs, the family said Nodra would do anything to provide for her children.
Though they did indicate domestic violence was an issue and that she tried to keep her distance from her estranged husband.
"He just had a hold on her and would use the children as power over her," said one family member.
"This is something we’ve been dealing with for a long time," said Jason Hursey. "I think we’re probably not the only ones going through this or who have gone through this so, pay attention. Domestic violence is real and it affects everyone."
Funeral arrangements for Nodra Hursey-Emile have been set for Thursday, Dec. 14. Services will be held at Maranatha Family Worship Center beginning at 11 a.m.
If you or someone you know believes they are a victim of domestic violence, you are not alone. Please reach out to the DV Hopeline 24 hours a day at 877-737-0242 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).