Franklin County

Domestic violence victim's advocate found dead in Frankfort

Frankfort police are investigating the death of an advocate for domestic violence victims who was shot multiple times before her body was discovered in a truck Monday.

Tomma Graves, 37, of Frankfort, was found in a pickup about 7:25 a.m. in a parking lot in the 300 block of Washington Street, officials said. Chief Deputy Coroner Joel Whisman said she was shot multiple times. A determination of the cause of death awaited autopsy results at the state medical examiner's office in Frankfort, he said.

Franklin County Commonwealth's Attorney Larry Cleveland said Graves was one of two victim's advocates who worked with his office and the Franklin County Attorney's Office.

"It's a tough situation we're in," he said Monday night. "We're mourning and we're investigating at the same time."

Cleveland said Graves had worked as a victim's advocate since 2007.

"She was good at it," he said. "Everybody loved her. It's a tragedy."

Victim's advocates help victims of domestic violence by helping connect them to services such as shelters and counseling.

"They give support to victims when they have to go to court," Cleveland said. "It's a tough job. You see pain and suffering every day. You see people at their worst."

He said Graves was an outgoing person who loved to joke around.

Graves was a native of Frankfort and studied at Kentucky State University. She had two school-age children, Cleveland said. He said she had recently bought the pickup in which her body was found.

No arrest in the case has been made, Frankfort police Maj. Fred Deaton said. He could not say how long Graves might have been in the truck.

Cleveland said the lot where the truck and Graves' body was found is "a place she liked to park" when she went downtown.

He said there was a Friday night concert that might have led her to park there, but he did not know whether that was the case.

He said members of a nearby church use the lot on Sunday mornings.

"It's an odd thing," he said. If the truck had been there, "one would think someone would've noticed something on Sunday morning."

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