Loved ones gather to share memories of slain friend

Published: Sep. 16, 2014 at 3:14 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 31, 2014 at 4:33 AM EDT
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Joseph Oberhansley (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Joseph Oberhansley (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Tonya Graham Davalos (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Tonya Graham Davalos (Source: WAVE 3 News)

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) – The horrific details surrounding the death of Tammy Jo Blanton at the hands of her ex-boyfriend have left her loved ones numb.

Blanton's body was discovered in a bathtub of her Locust Street home around 10 a.m. on Friday Sept. 12. Her ex-boyfriend, Joseph Oberhansley, admitted to stabbing her to death and acts of cannibalism.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Victim in Jeffersonville homicide identified, suspect previously served time in Utah shooting death]

"I start thinking about everything and it's so hard," Blanton's friend, Tonya Graham Davalos, said Monday.

Davalos, along with a few others who knew Blanton, gathered at the Jeffersonville Overlook on Main Street to remember their friend. It was one of their favorite spots.

Her loss and the horrific circumstances have left them devastated.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Report: Accused killer admits to cannibalism]

"It's just such horrible thing to happen to such a beautiful person," another friend, John Wolfe said.

Her friends and family said they want to remember her as the smiling, hard working woman she was, not as the victim of such a violent act.

They described her as someone who didn't think twice about giving her loved ones all she had.

"If you was a friend with her, you was a friend for life," Wolfe said.

They said she was the kind of friend that you could call anytime about anything.

"No matter what was going on in her life, she made sure her friends were ok," Jennifer Osborne said.

Blanton was private about her relationship with the man who police say took her life. But it was her desire to help others, regardless of their past that may have exposed her to abuse.

"She was looking for the good and no matter what we thought she thought it was there," Davalos said.

Her friends said she did not have any children, but she was very close with her parent and two brothers and even lived near her father.

"I want everyone to think of them and pray for them because this is going to be really hard for them," Davalos pleaded.

Blanton had just bought a boat and could not wait to take it out on the water. Her friends said it is the happy memories of her that are helping them navigate through the pain.

"We just don't know what to do next," Osborne said fighting back tears. "We don't know what to do."

Oberhansley is being held in the Clark County Jail without bond.

At the time of Blanton's death Oberhansley was free on parole for a previous killing when he was a teenager. He also was charged last year in connection with an incident at a bar in Jeffersonville.

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