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Love shouldn't hurt | Father remembers daughter who was murdered by boyfriend

Karleigh Miller was killed in 2020 by her boyfriend. Her father is now advocating for domestic violence awareness and prevention.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — May 31, 2020, is a day that Mike Miller will never forget. 

It's the day, his 19-year-old daughter was murdered by her boyfriend at the time. Over the past year and a half, Miller said it's been tough. 

He said the stages of grief are different for everyone but if there was one word he would use to describe it, it's "numb."

As a father, he made it clear he disapproved of the relationship. Miller said there were signs at first that made him distrust his daughter's boyfriend. Then, the first sign showed that something was wrong in the relationship. 

"I knew something was wrong the first time she called me and she told me that he hit her," Miller said. 

Karleigh left him soon after, but months later Miller soon realized they had rekindled their relationship. The troubles for the young couple didn't stop there. 

"There are text messages between friends saying if 'If I go missing it's him' and pictures of what he did to her," Miller said. 

On that May day, his world changed forever. Miller was working in Middletown, Ohio when he got a call from Louisville Metro Police (LMPD). 

He recognized the number from his years in law enforcement. He declined the call, thinking they had the wrong number. But LMPD called again and broke the news about his daughter. 

"They were arguing and she was going to get out of the car and he shot her in the back," he said. 

The Center for Women and Families came together Wednesday for their annual Speak Their Name event, honoring the men and women lost to domestic and intimate partner violence in the past year. 

Miller stood as his daughter's name was called and then he placed a flower in her memory. 

Now, he is making it his mission to keep Karleigh's memory alive and educate others about how to recognize and stop domestic violence. 

"If I can help even one family that doesn't have to go through this, then it is worth it because it's the absolute worst pain in the world," he said. 

If you or anyone is experiencing domestic abuse, you can contact the Center for Women and Families at 502-581-7222. 

Here are additional resources for those experiencing domestic abuse.

RELATED: How to recognize domestic violence and where you can get help

RELATED: Louisville woman turns to advocacy after becoming victim to human trafficking

Contact reporter Elle Smith at esmith@whas11.com or on her social media outlets: Facebook or Twitter. 

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