OGDEN – The family of Mindee Lavel Elmer Mastronardi encouraged people who are in abusive relationships to get help as soon as they can nearly two weeks after she was confronted and shot to death by her ex-boyfriend in Ogden.
Mindee’s father, Frank Mastronardi, has been writing the kind of letter that no parent wants to write.
“It’s easy to see why so many people loved her. It’s been really tough,” he said.
He wrote the letter to publicly thank the community that has seen his family through the darkest of times.
“It’s why I had to do this, because not enough words can say what, how we really feel and love all of their help,” Mastronardi said.
On Easter weekend, he lost Mindee, 41, his fourth daughter, in an act of domestic violence.
“Something you hope will never happen in your lifetime,” he said.
Her ex-boyfriend, Seth Gibson, shot and killed her in an Ogden parking lot on April 6.
The couple dated for nearly 10 years before breaking up.
— Garna Mejia KSL (@GarnaMejiaKSL) April 14, 2021
“This wasn’t my sister’s life path,” said Dede Mastronardi, Mindee’s sister. “It was taken from her.”
After he shot Mindee, Gibson was in a four-hour standoff with police where he turned the gun on himself. He died a few days later.
The tragedy continued. Mindee’s current boyfriend was so overcome by grief, her sisters said, that he took his own life the day after she died.
“He made her the happiest she has ever been and he just wanted to spend every single moment with her,” said Dede.
Mindee’s sisters said funeral services for the couple were held last weekend, but they’ve felt the community’s support in the many flowers, messages and donations they have received.
As they process their loss, they pleaded for other victims of domestic violence to take action as soon as possible.
“You never know what they’re going to do. Just leave, get out as fast as you can. Reach out for as much support and help,” said sister Lesa Martinez.
If you or someone you know, needs help, call the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition at 1-800-897-LINK (5465).