Samantha Heller, a 17-year-old McCaskey High School junior, was killed by her estranged boyfriend in December 2012.
Benjamin Klinger deliberately crashed his car, which Heller was a passenger in, then suffocated her on the shoulder of Route 283 in Rapho Township.
Heller’s family recalls how she would light up a room with her “bright smile, loving actions and charismatic personality.” They remembered her “child-like happiness” towards both daily happenings and large milestones in her life.
Her survivors say she is missed “so totally each and everyday.” They refer to her as “our baby girl.”
Klinger had been abusive to Heller for some time, having previously driven over her foot with a vehicle.
One of Heller’s relatives told police Klinger had threatened to kill Heller in a car crash.
Last year, Klinger pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and related counts and is serving 28 to 56 years in prison.
Assistant District Attorney Christine Wilson prosecuted the case.
Manheim police filed charges.
Colon is one of 15 individuals from Lancaster County with memorials on display across the county this month for the national Silent Witness program, which commemorates lives lost to domestic violence. Two of those individuals were carrying children at the time of their death.
Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman’s office gathered information from friends and families of those lost, for display in the Silent Witness exhibits.
A special thank you to the following who shared their spaces: Stevens College, Millersville University, Elizabethtown College, Lancaster General Health, and New Life Church.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; firstname.lastname@example.org