Friend of Hopewell homicide victim: "Wish I answered the phone" - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Friend of Hopewell homicide victim: "Wish I answered the phone"

Catherine Elizabeth Lipford (Source: Kim Thorne) Catherine Elizabeth Lipford (Source: Kim Thorne)
Ulysses Blanding, Jr. (Source: Hopewell Police Dept.) Ulysses Blanding, Jr. (Source: Hopewell Police Dept.)

A Hopewell woman tearfully recalled her childhood friend the day after the woman was found stabbed to death outside her apartment. 

Catherine Elizabeth Lipford was found dead Saturday in the 200 block of Davisville Court. Police say she was stabbed to death by Ulysses Blanding, Jr. Blanding was arrested at a relative's home hours later and charged with murder.

"She was a really good friend. She was known by a many and loved by a lot," said Lipford's lifelong friend, Kim Thorne.

Several people living across from Lipford's apartment said they heard yelling and screaming coming from her unit. One woman, who did not want to be identified, said she called 911 after she saw Lipford come out of her apartment bloodied and begging for help. 

Police say Lipford died not too far from her own front door and just two weeks away from her daughter's second birthday. Thorne says Blanding is the father of Catherine's young daughter, who will now grow up without both her parents.

"It's something you don't know what to say or how to explain," Thorne said.

Hours before Lipford's death, Thorne says her friend called her. She missed that call and sent Lipford a text message.

Thorne would never have that conversation with Lipford. The next call she received was from Lipford's sister telling her that her friend was gone.

"I wish I would have answered that phone call. I just want to talk to her that is all," Thorne said.

Thorne and family members are holding a candlelight vigil for Lipford at 7 p.m. Monday in the field behind the Davisville Apartments. Friends and family are asked to wear one of Lipford's favorite colors, pink or purple.

If you have any information on this incident you are asked to call Crime Solvers at 804-541-2202.

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