SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The parents of a young Sioux Falls woman want to raise awareness for domestic violence following the death of their daughter.
Last week, authorities found Randi Gerlach’s body in a Lincoln County home and arrested 22-year-old Jackson Phillips in connection with her death. He’s charged with aggravated domestic assault and violating a no-contact order.
On March 1st, Jody Gerlach and Kara Riedel lost their 20-year-old daughter, Randi, who they say wasn’t afraid to be bold in her life.
“She was energetic, loud and proud. She wasn’t afraid to stick up for people,” Kara Riedel, Randi’s mom, said.
And she was full of love for her two-year-old son.
“A lot of giggles and playtime,” Jody Gerlach, Randi’s dad, said. “You could tell the two of them just clicked so well together. They were a joy to be around, both of them. That was going to be a great family, I was proud of her as a mom.”
As a way to honor their daughter, Randi’s parents want to raise awareness about domestic violence.
“Randi doesn’t have a voice anymore, but we do,” Jody Gerlach said.
“Randi would advocate,” Riedel said. “She would want us to advocate to make sure that we bring awareness to this. How will we make a change.”
In Sioux Falls, resources can be found at places like the Children’s Inn and the Compass Center. Randi’s parents encourage anyone who is or knows someone in an abusive relationship to reach out for help.
“It’s our job then to react to a situation,” Jody Gerlach said. And it’s our job, as parents or friends, to take care of each other. Take care of that person. So it doesn’t happen to somebody else.”
“No other parent should have to bury their child or their mother or their father, I mean, because of this,” Riedel said.
Randi’s family has started their own Facebook page raising awareness against domestic violence.
There is a GoFundMe set up to help the family with funeral expenses. Any money left over will go towards a trust fund for her son.
The funeral for Randi will be Friday, March 11th, at 11 a.m., you can get details for it by clicking here.
Domestic Violence Resources:
- Children’s Inn, Sioux Falls
- The Compass Center, Sioux Falls
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233
- The South Dakota Coalition Ending Domestic and Sexual Violence
- South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault
- Victims’ Services Shelter Map by the Department of Public Safety