GROVETOWN, G.A. (WJBF) -A local mother is speaking out after finding her daughter dead Friday. Emily Zavala was a student at Grovetown Middle School. She was also the victim of an alleged sexual assault. Just days after the boy accused of raping her was arrested, she hanged herself in her bedroom closet.
Janet Majewski and her granddaughter sat down with me this afternoon and showed me what she found after going through Emily’s room. It was a journal that showed what the teen was going through was so much more than what she led her family to believe. She read Emily’s journal to me. The very last entry before taking her own life read in part “…he destroyed me.”
“She was fixing to be 15 really excited about the driver’s license, she almost had me talked into letting her get a little nose piercing,” said Janet Majewski, Emily’s mother.
Janet Majewski says her daughter Emily was a shy girl with a heart filled with passion.
“She was so kind and she felt everything so deeply. She desgined clothes and she didn’t sew. I’d buy her a shirt and the next thing I know it was cut and held together with safety pins.”
Smart, artistic, creative, kind are just a few words Emily’s mother used to describe her.
“If she saw kids in school being bullied, she would go make friends with them, everybody that spoke about her said, she was my bestfriend.”
But at the tender age of 14 with so much potential, Emily decided to take her own life. Her mother, Janet found her hanging in her closet.
“I went into her room to see if she’d opened her window and it was closed so I turned around and her closet door was open and I saw her feet,” she described.
Majewski says she originally thought her daughter was playing a joke on her.
“And I laughed and said Emily you’re playing a joke on me and she didn’t say anything.So I walked up to the closet and moved the clothes and her head was down, thank God I didn’t see her face.”
Majewski says she found Emily hanging from the belt, she would wear to school every day.
“And I touched her and she was cold, so I ran in here and I got a knife I went back and I cut her down and she didn’t fall to the floor, she just went back like a mannequin, she was stiff…oh god, I just want that image to go away. It’s the one I keep seeing,” she cried.
Majewski points to Kain Lord, Emily’s ex-boyfriend for her death. She describes the relationship as both emotionally and physically abusive.
“He was very controlling. He made her put the Live 360 app on her phone and he had it on his, so he would always know where she was. It’s kind of ironic, that’s how the police found him. They had Emily’s phone and could follow where he was on Live 360,” she said.
Majewski says she learned her daughter was raped after going through her room and finding Emily’s journal. One entry described the attack in detail. Majewski says they took that entry to police and Lord was later arrested.
“It’s his fault he caused it he tortured her, and she couldn’t get away from it,” said Annabelle, one of Emily’s nieces.
Annabelle says that kids at school wouldn’t make it easy for her to forget what happened.
“They taunted her about it, that’s the way he described it, they taunted her like we know that’s you he did that to,” she said.
Majewski says she wants parents to learn from what happened to her daughter. She says parents should always know what their children are up to on and offline.
Because of the extenuating circumstances within the Zavala family, they are asking for help from the community to give Emily a proper memorial service. If you’d like to help, there is a GoFundMe account set up called “Help Memorialize Emily, Elijah Zavala” and if you’d like to donate in person, an account has been created at Queensboro National Bank.
There are a number of resources available to teens and parents dealing with depression. Dr. Dale Peebles says to find help, call the Georgia Crisis and Access Line at 1-800-715-4225.