UPDATE: Murder victim's boyfriend, "She was fearful every single - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Murder victim's boyfriend, "She was fearful every single day."

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Grayden Lee Whitmore, 8, and his mother, Melissa Ball, in a family photo. Grayden Lee Whitmore, 8, and his mother, Melissa Ball, in a family photo.
WHITFIELD COUNTY, GA (WRCB) - UPDATE: Friends and loved ones created a memorial at the Shell gas station at pump 12 for Melissa Ball and her eight year old son Grayden.

Melissa separated from Eric Whitmore a few months ago and she just recently started dating someone new.

Channel 3 spoke with Ball's current boyfriend, Jesse Hall, who says there were warning signs that Melissa was in danger before her death.

Hall says he started dating Melissa Ball just a few months ago. He says the two fell for each other instantly, and Ball confided in him about her ex-boyfriend Eric Whitmore.

"She was fearful every single day," Hall said.

Melissa and Eric had an eight year-old son together. Grayden was a second grader at Beaverdale Elementary School.

Hall says that's where Thursday's events began to unravel. Hall got a call from Melissa saying something was wrong.

"Her ex picked up her son from school, without her knowing," Hall said.

Channel 3 checked in with Whitfield County Schools and Eric Whitmore was listed on school paperwork as being authorized to pick his son up, but Hall says it raised a red flag for Melissa.

"He's never picked up his kid from school at all, until this day."

Melissa got in touch with Eric and they both agreed to meet.

It was at Hall's suggestion, she chose this Shell station, he believed she'd be safe in a public place.

"I told her that she needed to be careful," Hall said, "And asked her to um, park somewhere where there's cameras."

The two stayed on the phone together until she pulled up to pump 12.  That was the last time Jesse heard Melissa's voice.

"She said she wasn't going to move until he got there, I figured that that would be okay," Hall said, "And she stayed there and got gas and waited for him and after that I never heard from her."
Two hours later Hall learned through a family member that Melissa and Grayden were dead.

Hall says Melissa planned to file an order of protection against Whitmore.

Police records confirm that. Channel 3 learned Melissa called 911 multiple times to report harassment.

Records show Melissa called 9-1-1 from work last month to report Whitmore was driving by her workplace and home and constantly calling.

Police records show she told the officer Whitmore had been violent to her in the past, but she never reported it. The officer told her to call police if he showed up again.

Two days later that's exactly what happened. Melissa called police to report Whitmore was following her. She told officers she intended to file a protective order, but she never did.

Two weeks later, it was Whitmore who called police wanting to see his son. Officers instead told him to stop driving by Melissa's home, saying it was on the verge of stalking.

Police say she was taking the right steps by documenting her fear, but police didn't have enough to arrest Whitmore on anything at the time.

Funeral arrangements have been made for  Melissa Ball and her son Grayden Lee Whitmore.

Visitation will be at the Dalton Funeral Home at 620 South Glenwood Avenue in Dalton Sunday, April 26 from 5pm - 9pm and the funeral will be Monday, April 27 at 2 p.m. 

PREVIOUS STORY: Two adults and a child are dead following a shooting Thursday night in Varnell, GA.

The call came in just before 7:00pm of people being shot in the parking lot of a Shell gas station located on Cleveland Highway. 

The Shell station and McDonald's share the same building and parking area.  When first responders arrived they found the three individuals shot. All 3 died at the scene. 

The three have been identified as Melissa Ball, 27, Christopher Eric Whitmore, 36, and their child Grayden Lee Whitmore, 8 of Beaverdale.

A Whitfield County Sheriff's investigator tells us the couple had a history of domestic issues and were separated at the time of the incident. 

"She was a very good person, a good mother," said Mandi Ball, sister and aunt of the victims. "She took care of her son and that's all she worried about. They would do anything to help anybody. Even him at 8 years old would stress out and have anxiety attacks from worrying about other people."

Investigators have determined Ball pulled up at the Shell station and immediately after she pulled up Christopher Eric Whitmore drove up and parked directly behind her. They both got out of their cars and both walked to the back door Whitmore vehicle. 

Investigators believe Christopher Eric Whitmore pulled out a handgun and shot their son while he was sitting in the back seat.  

He then immediately pointed the gun at Ball and shot her, and then shot himself.

Mandi Ball told Channel 3 her sister had been in an abusive relationship with Whitmore for more than 10 years but recently moved out on him and took their son.

The investigation into the incident is continuing. 
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