Mother of Cold Case Victim: 'I Think of Her Every Day'

Cold Case: Winston Salem

WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- A Winston-Salem mother is preparing to spend her first Thanksgiving without her daughter.

Paula Tuit's daughter was brutally attacked 4 years ago.

In 2013, officers found Anita Tuit unconscious in her apartment on Motor Road in Winston-Salem.

Police say somebody choked her.

Tuit lived another three years but was never able to communicate again.

She died last December from the injuries she sustained in that attack.

Earlier this week, the Winston-Salem Police Department officially ruled Tuit's case as a cold case.

Nearly a year since her death, Tuit’s mother, Paula, fights back tears as she looks back at old pictures of her daughter.

"I think of her every day,” said Tuit. “Sometimes I dream about her."

She still remembers the conversation they had on the day of the attack.

"She said ‘Mommy, I don't know what I would do without you,’” said Tuit. “I hugged her and I said ‘Nita, I don't know what I would do without you either.’"

It’s a sad reality that she now has to face every day.

"It's been very difficult,” said Tuit. “There's a closing when she died but not a real closing."

On the day of the attack, police say Anita Tuit's roommate left their apartment on Motor Road so that Tuit could have privacy with a guest she was having over -- a man she might have met him on a social media site.

Police later found Tuit unconscious after she was reportedly strangled.

Tuit spent three years in a trying to recover.

“She couldn't eat. She couldn't talk. It was a terrible thing,” said Tuit. “But she could communicate. I would say Nita, I love you. Do you love mommy? Blink twice for yes. And she would blink blink.”

After a long fight, Tuit died in December, 2016 from complications stemming from the strangulation.

“I should've gone before her. I'm older than her,” said Tuit. “I should've gone, not her. Not your child.”

Even though Tuit is gone, her mother still keeps her close to her heart, wearing a necklace Anita's ashes inside.

“It's a beautiful necklace and I feel I Anita is with me all the time,” said Tuit. 

Tuit says she will never be able to fully get over her daughter's death but hopes someone will speak up to police so her family can finally have closure.

“Oh it would be like a weight off my heart or something. You feel like it's heavy. There's something there. You want to find out who did it,” said Tuit. “It's closure when you have a funeral but it's not closure until you know who actually did it.”

Tuit says she wants to start a support group for other people dealing with the grief of losing a loved one.

As for Anita's case, police say they have gotten a few phone tips but still no arrests have been made.

If you know anything, you’re asked to call Crimestoppers in Winston-Salem.
 

© 2017 WFMY-TV


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