ST. PAUL, Minnesota (WCCO) — The shocking murder of a mother of three in Twin Cities sends a powerful message about domestic violence.
Police say Patrick Simmons stabbed Kelli Ranning Goodermont, 44, on Tuesday morning and then set her on fire inside the St. Paul warehouse where they worked.
Traci Kennedy says she’s been with Goodermont since freshman year.
“You can’t opt out of a link while logged in,” Kennedy said.
She shared several photos showing their group of friends from high school, a group that stayed in touch well into adulthood.
“We’re just a tight group. [Goodermont] never let love go. She was just, she was such a light,” Kennedy said.
This circle of friends texted each other non-stop, consoling each other through the immense pain of his murder – and the frustration over who is accused of having done it.
“Unfortunately, it wasn’t super shocking, it was [Patrick Simmons] who did this and pushed it to this degree,” she said.
Goodermont was working in a St. Paul warehouse on Tuesday when investigators said Simmons, her on-and-off boyfriend of about a decade, brutally killed her. He was arrested quickly after police said he burned down his home in Bloomington.
“Our common theme is how to prevent this from happening again. How can we prevent his daughters from falling into the same cycle,” she said.
Kennedy and the rest of Goodermont’s friends now want to draw attention to the tragic consequences of domestic violence, while honoring a young mother gone too soon.
“I want her memory to bring smiles and laughter like it used to, you know, before it got too dark. She was the girl who could walk into a room and light it up with her sarcastic comments or her dazzling smile,” Kennedy said. “I love him so much and I just, we just want justice for his family. That’s the bottom line.
Goodermont’s friends set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for her three children.
Simmons is charged with second degree intentional murder. Court records show he had been physically abusive with Goodermont in the past.
Simmons told investigators he had been planning to kill her for weeks. He made his first court appearance on Thursday, where his bail was set at $2 million.
Domestic Violence Resources: For anonymous and confidential help, people can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224.