Community mourns the loss of Amber Turner; celebrates her life

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The entire Switzerland County community was shocked on Sunday afternoon to find out that Vevay native Loni Amber Turner was missing from her home in South Daytona, Florida; and that shock turned to absolute desolation on Monday when news arrived that her body had been found in a Port Orange, Florida hotel room.

Amber Turner was the victim of a murder-suicide plot at the hand of her ex-boyfriend, Erin Ross.

Amber Turner had moved to Florida from Switzerland County, and had been attending Cosmetology School while also working at a nursing home. She left her home on Sunday morning to go to work, but co-workers became concerned and notified police after she didn’t show up to begin her 6 a.m. shift.

As news of her disappearance spread, authorities began looking for Erin Ross, who had been stalking Amber Turner since she broke off their relationship in April of this year. Friends told authorities that he had been sending her text messages, some of them threatening; and that he could also be seen at times parked in front of Amber’s home for hours.

More chilling was the news that Amber Turner had sought a restraining order against Erin Ross last week, but a judge had denied the order and set a court date for tomorrow (Friday, September 3rd). Under state law, the court also notified Erin Ross of the pending hearing and that Amber Turner was seeking a restraining order against him, according to Florida news reports.

As the investigation continued on Sunday afternoon, it was reported that police were trying to track Amber Turner’s cell phone, which had last been used in the Port Orange area on Sunday morning, but had then been turned off.

As Amber’s mom, Cheryl Turner; her brother, Codey Turner, and her father, Danny Turner, all headed to Florida to assist in the search, nearly all of Switzerland County gathered to pray and exchange information. Purple ribbons, Amber’s favorite color, began to appear all around the community; and as Sunday night came, there were hopes that Amber would be found alive soon.

On Monday morning, friends and family members gathered to search for her on their own, but reports in the Florida community soon began to circulate that two bodies had been discovered in a hotel in the Port Orange community.

A short time later, police investigators made official what was feared, that the two people found in the hotel room at approximately 10 a.m. on Monday morning were Amber Turner and Erin Ross.

Police said that other guests at the hotel told investigators that they had heard gunshots between 10-10:30 p.m., but no one had contacted authorities.

Amber Turner’s car was found in a back parking lot of the hotel; and investigators then announced that Erin Ross’ vehicle had been discovered parked in a bank parking lot across the street from Amber Turner’s home.

News of Amber Turner’s death quickly spread around the Switzerland County community, and friends and community members immediately began to rally to the aid of the family.

Members of the community gathered at the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park on Monday night for a candlelight memorial.

MainSource Bank will be holding a bake sale tomorrow (Friday) during the “First Friday” events in downtown Vevay, with all proceeds going to the Turner family; and Danner’s Hardware will be selling sno cones during “First Friday”, with proceeds going to the family.

A fund has been established for the Turner family at MainSource Bank; and individuals are also offering assistance of all kinds as the family deals with the details and arrangements. An autopsy was performed on Tuesday morning, but as of presstime there was still no word on when Amber would be returned to Switzerland County.

Funeral arrangements are pending at Haskell and Morrison Funeral Home.

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Amber Turner was one of the best-loved members of the Switzerland County High School Class of 2007, and had just turned 22 years old on this past Thursday, August 26th.

Some of her classmates offered personal thoughts on the passing of their friend.

One time when Amber came home we were all sitting at her house trying to think of something to do, and she looked right at me and said can we go get a picture in a cornfield. If you know Amber she was very random like that. I was also lucky and had the opportunity to visit Amber in Florida Spring Break of 2009.

Even though she had to work some of the days we were there, she never let that stop her from hanging out with us and making our time down there with her definitely memorable. That is a vacation I will never forget.

Amber’s smile could brighten up a room and her beautiful singing voice could bring tears to my eyes. I am honored she let me be apart of her amazing life and for that she has made mine that much better. She will always be my Amber T and I will always be her Sue!

Love Always,

‘Sue’ (Kayla Konkle)

I remember when Amber would always say “Blue Punch Buggie” from the movie, ‘Lilo and Stitch’ – she did the best impression. We always made her say it over and over again.

I’m also glad T.J. and I got to share our wedding day with her. She did hair that day and did my makeup for me. I will cherish that memory forever.

Sydney (Pike) Sefton

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A partial obituary for Amber Turner appears on page 2 of today’s edition. Once funeral arrangements have been made, they will be posted on the Vevay Newspapers website, www.vevaynewspapers.com; and will appear in the following edition of the newspaper.