Yvonne C. Kretzer

 Yvonne C. Kretzer

Danville shelter mourns loss of resident

April 9, 2009

Danville - A woman who counselors say survived attacks at home from her husband died shortly after finding comfort in an Indiana shelter.

There's an empty bed now at Sheltering Wings Center for Women in Danville. Shelter staff members say that's because for the first time, one of their residents has died. Forty-four-year-old Yvonne Kretzer died last month at Methodist Hospital.

"She had so much to offer to everyone and for her to be gone, it's just a tragedy," said Maria Larrison at the shelter.

According to staff, Kretzer suffered too many head injuries after years of beatings from her husband.

"She's not suffering any longer and I don't have to see her having seizures anymore or tremors. Just the pain is no longer there," said Linda Wells with Sheltering Wings.

Staff members say Kretzer first came to the shelter last June, stayed for six weeks and went back to her husband.

"She thought she could fix him and she had the hope that deep down inside of him, that there was a good guy and she thought that she could find that person that she knew was in there and that she could fix him," said Wells.

According to staffers, when Kretzer came back in September, she was in and out of the hospital for brain swelling and seizures from more abuse.

Kretzer's final hospital stay, just 5 days before Christmas, was her last. The staff at Sheltering Wings say her death has been a wake up call to many of the women who stay here. They say some of them were thinking about going back to their abuser before Kretzer's death.

"We've had a couple of women who have said you know I was thinking about going back, but I know that I shouldn't now," said Larrison.

Sheltering Wings counselors say they accompanied Kretzer to court as her husband faced charges in Marion County.

"I feel like she was let down," said Wells.

But Wells says Kretzer's death will not be in vain as they continue their work to help other survivors of domestic violence. But those who helped Kretzer at Sheltering Wings say they're frustrated that charges can't be filed relating to her death.