Linda Cerutti wasn’t what people think of when they think of domestic violence victims, said her daughter, Carrie Brackett.
“My mother is by far the strongest person I have ever known in my life,” Brackett said a few days after her mother died June 10. “She was the person I would call for just about anything. I leaned on her. Now, I can’t do that.”
Cerutti, of St. Charles, died June 10 from injuries from a May 29 attack. Her live-in boyfriend, Steven Martineau was charged Friday with second-degree murder. He was charged with third-degree domestic assault on Cerutti in February.
Brackett said she was surprised to find out her mother’s relationship with Martineau was an abusive one.
“I want the message out there. If this can happen to my Mom, it could happen to anyone,” Brackett said.
Cerutti, who lived in Fenton for several years before moving to St. Charles about two years ago, broke off a physically abusive relationship with Brackett’s father and moved her children away from him, she said.
Cerutti also warned Brackett about signs of abusive relationships, and urged her to stay alert for such indications in her relationships.
“She was my mom and my dad. She got (gifts for) Mother’s Day and Father’s Day,” Cerutti’s daughter said.
Cerutti's co-workers also thought highly of her.
“Linda was an incredibly strong woman with a an unstoppable spirit,” Tammy Meyer, a co-worker of Cerutti's, told Patch.
Cerutti worked with Meyer at the Community Care Center in Lemay, a nursing home.
“Linda was the bookkeeper and really did not have to socialize with the elderly residents,” Meyer in an email to Patch. “But she did, and she loved them and brought joy and humor to the lives every day.”
Meyer also was saddened and angered by the loss of her co-worker and friend.
“What happened to her was an absolute tragedy,” Meyer wrote.
“It is my hope that more and more women realize their true worth. No one has the right to hit you, beat you, kill you because of a problem that they have,” she said.
Brackett said she mourns the times that she and her daughter should have had with her mother.
“My mom was a good-hearted person. She did not deserve what happened to her,” she said.
If you have experienced or know someone who has experienced domestic or sexual violence, find resources through the St. Louis Ending Violence Against Women Network (SLEVAWN) or call the Safe Connections 24-hour crisis hotline at 314-531-2003.