Murder victim’s brother shares his sister’s story to raise awareness for domestic abuse

Police say Heath Heck shot and killed his ex-wife Melissa Wright before killing himself
Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 8:17 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2022 at 12:38 PM CST
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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) - Two adults were found dead in a home in Marshfield on Tuesday. Police called it a murder-suicide involving a man who killed his ex-wife.

The Marshfield Police Department received a call from a co-worker who was concerned after 41-year-old mother of two Melissa Wright didn’t show up for work. Marshfield police went to the residence for a wellness check and discovered the bodies inside.

“The front door of the residence was broken, it appeared someone had broken in the house,” said Marshfield Police Chief Jody Jody Geurink.

The vehicle of 48-year-old Heath Heck was parked in the driveway. The investigation, so far, revealed Heck shot and killed Wright, then killed himself.

The brother of the victim, Alan Wright, said that he was aware she was having relationship problems.

“He would harass her non-stop and she just couldn’t get away from him… and it came to this and now there is no helping either one of them,” said a visibly upset Wright. He added when talking about his sister’s kids, “And now neither one of them have parents.”

Police Chief Geurink said domestic violence situations are tough.

“Since it happens in people’s private homes and private lives, law enforcement won’t be aware of it until someone lets us in, let’s us know what’s going on,” said Chief Geurink. He said the faster police are alerted of a situation the higher the likelihood of a peaceful resolution and getting the victim to safety.

“We’re really fortunate in our community to have excellent resources,” said Chief Geurink.

One resource that helps victims is the Hannah Center in Marshfield which has been serving women for more than 30 years. “The Hannah Center is a safe environment for females to come if they find themself in any kind of a life crisis,” said Karen Mundt, Program Coordinator for the Hannah Center. She says, “Get the help, it’s out there, people want to help.”

Wright and Chief Jody also have advice for abuse victims.

“You’re stronger than you think. Reach out and let us help you,” Chief Geurink said. Wright added, “Reach out for help and to be trained in firearm safety so you can protect yourself in a situation like this because she was unarmed.”

A GoFundMe fundraiser has been created to help the family pay for memorial expenses. If you would like to donate, click here.