Nicole Wallace: 31-year-old mother of 2 found dead in burning Camaro; ex-husband charged
Nicole Wallace, 31, was a fun person to be around. She did all she could for her two children, including working two jobs to make ends meet, her family told local media.
"She was loved and we will miss her,'' an attorney speaking on behalf of Wallace's family told al.com.
Wallace's body was found burning inside her Chevrolet Camaro behind an abandoned home in Wylam, Alabama on Monday, October 10, 2016. Neighbors reported seeing smoke and fire.
"[The car is] burned extremely bad,'' Birmingham police spokesman Lt. Sean Edwards told al.com at the scene on Monday.
Demetrus Wilbert, 38, is charged with murder and being held in the Jefferson County jail on a $250,000 bond.
"If you say you want to love somebody but you go to the extent of committing the heinous crime that he did, that's not love,'' Edwards told the website. "Nobody deserves to die the way this woman did."
“She was very special; very good, sweet person,” Sharon Dudley, Wallace’s next door neighbor, told TV station WIAT. “It really hurts me. I really hate to think about it.”
Investigators canvassed the area looking for clues and talking to one neighbor who may have had surveillance video set up around his home. Police searched Wallace's Habitat for Humanity home. They believe she was possibly murdered there and her body was transported to the vacant home.
Neighbors who talked to police and the media said that the Wallaces had been seen arguing lately, with at least one of the incidents being particularly loud.
According to Al.com, citing court records, the Wallaces got married five years ago. Nicole Wallace filed for divorce in March 2016, and it was finalized in a default judgment on September 14.
But neighbors said both the husband and wife appeared to still be living together.
Nicole Wallace leaves behind a teen daughter and 4-year-old son.
One domestic violence expert said that what happened to Nicole Wallace can happen to anybody.
"Unfortunately people still think it won't happen to them'' said Annetta Nunn, a former Birmingham police chief turned YWCA community outreach coordinator. Speaking to al.com, she said, "We see a lot of concern when these heinous crimes happen, but we need everyone to be concerned every day of the year."
"Some try to leave the relationship not knowing how that is the most dangerous time for them,'' she told the website. "They need to have a safety plan to leave."