Looking back, Carol Banks said she can now see where something was building to a tragic end.
Banks was a childhood friend of Bryia Runiewicz, 31, who was murdered Friday in her home on New Lair Road.
Banks, who lives down the hill from Runiewicz in the Suburban Trailer Park, woke to find police and media vehicles all around her friend’s home. She ran the short distance between their homes to be met by police in Runiewicz’s driveway inside the yellow crime scene tape.
They confirmed her fears.
Her friend of many years was dead and the suspect was Bass Webb, 30.
Banks said things started going bad in the couple’s relationship when the father of Runiewicz’s children died on July 4.
“[Webb] was really upset over her showing emotion for him passing away,” Banks said. “It was really bad.”
She said her children had spent the night with Runiewicz’s children, Madyson and Morgan, who are 7 and 8 years old, one night and were there when Runiewicz asked Webb to leave her home.
Leonard Mitchell, Runiewicz’s stepfather, believes that day was July 7. That was the last time he remembers seeing Webb.
“She told him to leave and not to come back,” Mitchell said.
However, Mitchell said Webb did come back.
Mitchell said Webb’s brother brought him from Mt. Sterling to Runiewicz’s house on Friday morning, about 12:30 a.m.
At some point during the night, Mitchell said, his stepdaughter sent a text message to one of her friends stating “I’m so scared.”
“I figure she couldn’t actually pick up the phone,” Mitchell said, noting that she would have been able to send the text message without being noticed.
Unfortunately, the text message wasn’t discovered until Runiewicz was already dead.
Mitchell and Dora Clair, Runiewicz’s mother, last saw their daughter on Thursday night when she fixed supper for them.
As of press time Wednesday, charges in Runiewicz’s death had not been filed. However, Paris police said Webb, the estranged boyfriend of the victim, confessed to the murder following bizarre events that led to his arrest in Bourbon County.
For complete story, see this week's Cynthiana Democrat.