Steph Mott, 27, a KU graduate and close friend of Jana Mackey, said in an e-mail to the Journal-World that the two of them spoke nearly every hour.
"When she did not return my morning calls or show up for lunch (Thursday), I knew something was amiss, a feeling in the pit of my stomach," Mott wrote Sunday night.
Mott stated when Mackey's vehicle was discovered Thursday at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, it was a "red flag" to friends and family.
"If any of us had even so much as an inkling that our Jana was in danger, we would have been at her side immediately," Mott wrote. "What people may not know is that Jana was a smart, experienced woman with a lot of knowledge in the area of domestic violence. She had severed ties with Fito (Adolfo Garcia-Nunez) and had avoided contact with him in the past few weeks."
Mackey had a large circle of friends in the Lawrence community who helped piece together information and search for their friend.
Mott wrote that when they all agreed something was wrong, she called police and Mackey's mother.
"The process went quickly because Jana has so many friends that care so deeply for her," Mott wrote. "We have a very large but very tight group of friends, and all mobilized."
Mott described the group of friends as diverse and like an extended family. Family was an important part of Mackey's life, Mott said.
From water skiing to just sitting on the porch, Mackey and Mott often acknowledged their lives as "pure, pure happiness," Mott wrote.
"The greatest thing about Jana is that she has left us with so many great memories and so many ways we can improve ourselves," Mott wrote. "We have a lot to do."