MCLEAN COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD) — The family of Melissa Ostrom warns others in domestic violence situations to get help.
In April, Ostrom was reported missing by her Aunt Tami Bicknell and found dead a few days later. Bicknell along with other relatives were present in the courtroom on Wednesday for the suspect, Joshua Livingston’s, status hearing.
“I’ll be here every time. No matter how small or insignificant because I have to for her,” said Bicknell. “She doesn’t have a voice anymore. I have to be a voice for her.”
Bicknell said Ostrom and Livingston were in a relationship for less than a year when a protection order was filed in March.
“Anybody struggling with domestic violence, please get help because it can turn out really bad really fast. And you’re not alone. Somebody here in this courthouse will help you, detectives, anybody, go to a friend,” she said. “Just please get help and stay away from the person. No matter how small or how much they say they’re sorry. It can end up really bad.”
Ostrom’s family affectionately called her “Missie” or “Kissy Missie.”
“She was a kissy bandit. She would kiss your car windows and leave her little name there, and write her name in lipstick. She was an artist so she liked to leave her mark,” said her aunt.
Bicknell described Ostrom as a light who loved to help people.
“She loved children. Children were drawn to her like magnets. She would dance and paint and do crafts with them,” Bicknell said.
Bicknell said it’s been hard to see Livingston in the courtroom.
“I knew him too. So, knowing him, feeding him, welcoming him in our home, it’s tough,” she said.
On May 5, Livingston pleaded not guilty to all charges related to Ostrom’s death. Those charges are first-degree murder, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, concealment of a homicidal death, possession of methamphetamine, and criminal damage to government property.
Livingston has another status hearing on June 26.