The family of a slain Douglas County woman says it's too early to talk publicly about details of the case.
But Carmin D. Ross' parents and sisters said in interviews last week they wanted to thank people in Douglas County for helping them in the months since Ross' killing in November 2003.
"This is the most devastating thing that's ever happened in our lives," said Ross' father, Danny Ross, of Lapel, Ind. "What we want to do is thank the community for being compassionate and for their concern for us. The District Attorney's Office has been excellent. The sheriff's department has been as cooperative as they could be. They did a wonderful job."
All last week, Danny Ross, his wife, Judi, Carmin Ross' three sisters and several extended family members sat in a Douglas County courtroom for the preliminary hearing of Ross' ex-husband, Kansas State University English professor Thomas E. Murray. The relatives stayed at a local extended-stay duplex, where they said they returned exhausted every night.
"It's emotionally draining to hear all the details with regard to how she was killed, how badly she was beaten," Danny Ross said.
Since Murray was arrested in October, his and Carmin Ross' 5-year-old daughter, Ciara Ross-Murray, has been living in Indiana with her grandparents and attending kindergarten.
"I'm definitely not going to taint her feelings for her dad, because it would hurt her," Danny Ross said.
Ross' parents and sisters, during an interview, described Carmin as open-minded, fair, and someone who believed everyone had the right to be himself or herself.
"Our daughter was a wonderful person," Danny Ross said. "I'm not saying she was perfect."
He said that as the oldest of four sisters, Carmin Ross took it upon herself to make sure the girls remained close as they grew up and got married.
"We're an awesome family," said April Russell, the youngest daughter.
"Not to toot our own horns, but we are," said sister Heather Bowman.