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Chicago woman texts dad, calls police for help in last moments of her life

CHICAGO — In the last moments of her life, Julia Martin tried saving herself after she was repeatedly stabbed by her ex-boyfriend, who then killed himself.

Martin's ex had come over to her apartment Friday night to pick up the engagement ring Martin wanted to return to him. According to police, he forced open the door to her Chicago apartment and stabbed her repeatedly. He then jumped to his death from the apartment.

Martin, 27, who is from Detroit, attempted to save her own life by grabbing her phone, calling police, and asking them to send an ambulance, according to the Chicago Tribune. She then called and texted her father, Derrick Martin.

The text message read: “Call me ASAP.”  But he didn't see the text message from his daughter until it was too late. He had left his cell-phone charging while he ran to the store.

“Not only did she call me, she texted me while she was going through all this,” Derrick Martin told the Tribune. “She was calling everybody, saying that she wanted help. She called another friend and she was panting over the phone, trying to get her breath. He thought it was a prank and he hung up on her. He feels so bad."

Derrick Martin told WGN he’s glad he missed her call in a way, because he was hundreds of miles away, with no way to help her.

“I’m glad I didn’t get that call, ‘cause it woulda drove me crazy,” Derrick Martin said.

Martin was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Derrick says there was no indication Julia's ex-boyfriend, 35-year-old Rodney Harvey, was dangerous. He says she had recently told Harvey that she had started dating again. She was with him for about three years, and called it off about six months ago.

Both families say they never could have seen this coming, although Harvey’s relatives say he’d been in a long battle with depression. They’ve set up a Gofundme page to help cover his funeral expenses, and plan to donate some of the proceeds to programs that treat mental illness.