Updated: 1:06 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 | Posted: 7:40 a.m. Monday, Jan. 13, 2014

Woman killed in apparent domestic violence incident remembered 2 years after death; Ex-boyfriend awaiting trial

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Karissa Kunco candlelight vigil photo
Karissa Kunco candlelight vigil

PITTSBURGH —

Hundreds of people gathered Sunday night to remember a young woman killed two years ago in an apparent domestic violence incident.

Family and friends held a candlelight vigil in Brookline to honor Karissa Kunco. Kunco was found dead in a Washington County field two years ago.

The district attorney said Kunco’s ex-boyfriend, Jordan Clemons, is responsible for her death. Clemons is awaiting trial.

"It appears that both the victim and Mr. Clemons had a tumultuous relationship and that they were separated from one another," said Washington County District Attorney Gene Vittone. 

The criminal complaint stated that hours before Kunco's body was found, Clemons used her credit card to buy an X-Box video game system at a South Strabane Walmart. 

It was Jan. 12, 2012 when Kunco's crashed car was found in Cecil Township with blood on the floor and backseat. Hours later workers found her naked body five miles away, covered in leaves. 

Investigators said Clemons slit Kunco's throat and left her to die. 

Clemons’ trial is expected to begin in the spring.

Kunco’s family member said they have worked tirelessly to keep their loved one’s memory alive and to help other women who may be in an abusive relationship.

Since her death, Kunco’s family began “Karissa’s Army,” an effort that not only celebrates Kunco’s life, but raises money to help victims of domestic violence.

“Do what you have to do. Don’t think it’s going to change. It’s not going to change. Get out,” said Kunco’s mother, Kathy Kunco-Makowski.

“If we can save one girl, one life… that’s what we’re about. It’s well worth it,” said Kunco’s stepfather Don Makowski.

Since Kunco’s death, her family members said they have raised over $10,000 for the Greater Pittsburgh Women’s Shelter.

If convicted, Clemons could face the death penalty. He remains in the Washington County Jail. 

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