TACOMA, Wash. - Jen Staley, 34, lived a lot of life in a short amount of time. Family and friends say she was always busy working multiple jobs, yet always stepping up and finding time to help anyone in her orbit.
"She did not deserve to go like this," her sister, Sam told FOX 13 News nearly a week after the car crash that claimed Staley’s life. "She was supposed to be here a lot longer, she had so much more time."
Staley was killed in a crash near the intersection of Orchard Street and Center Street in Tacoma around 8:51 a.m. on Valentine’s Day. Investigators believe she was chased down the road during a road rage incident – the only evidence that’s been released are two blurry images of a man, and his silver Mercedes "C" class vehicle with a black top.
On the day of the incident, the man was wearing a dark-colored hoodie with red writing on the sleeve, blue jeans and white shoes with red on them.
"We just don’t have answers for anything," said Sam. "I’m hoping there will one person – or a few – who can come forward if they saw anything. Anything could be helpful."
Staley had been working as an ER technician at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital, but her true passion lied inside the tattoo parlor – her sister called it "her happy place."
"She had this laugh," explained her former mentor Nick Stone. "That laugh and this smile. It was enticing and inviting – just this energy you couldn’t help but get involved with."
Stone was with Staley at Noble Studio in Tacoma working on tattoos the night before she died.
A few months before the deadly crash they had worked at another tattoo studio that suffered through a break-in and robbery – Stone lost his most important equipment, and when he was struggling to rebound it was his former protégé that stepped up and purchased the equipment.
Jen Staley, 34, with her family.
Through tears Stone noted, that’s who she was – a helper. Whether it was through a conversation, a gesture, or even just listening Staley had an ability to bring people together.
"She just had an open heart," said Stone. "An open mind to everything and anything – whether it was artwork or a personal problem she was there."
Staley’s sister told FOX 13 News that after a life of non-stop work Jen was finally ready to settle down.
She always wanted to be a Mom, but had thrown herself into so many projects it was only now starting to come into focus – she had a girlfriend, her work at Noble Studio was taking off and she was preparing to settle down.
Starting at the age of 18 Staley had been a firefighter, which led to a stint with the National Guard – and a deployment to Afghanistan. She returned home as a Sergeant, and started a career in medicine, but her passion was art and tattooing.
Sam said everything was coming together for her sister, instead her life was cut short.
Now they’re asking for the public to step up with any information to help.
Anyone with information leading to the suspect’s arrest can receive up to $1,000. Submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or use the P3 Tips app.
Stay connected with FOX 13 News on all platforms:
DOWNLOAD: FOX 13 News and Weather Apps
WATCH: FOX 13 News Live
SUBSCRIBE: FOX 13 on YouTube
DAILY BRIEF: Sign Up For Our Newsletter
FOLLOW: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram