HINDS COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - A Hinds County family is living with many unanswered questions as they mourn the death of their daughter.
Twenty-year-old Zanmarkia Mack was shot and killed by 47-year-old Daniel Nelson on February 18.
She was a Raymond High School graduate and enrolled in the cosmetology program at Hinds Community College.
Mack’s parents said she was dating Nelson at the time, and it wasn’t the first time he showed violent behavior toward her.
“There was an incident where her car was burned in Jackson,” said Edith Peoples, Zanmarkia’s mother. “There was another incident where there was a shooting into the home she was staying at that night, but these incidents would occur when she’s not with him. Every time she attempted to leave, then incidents occur.”
Peoples went on to describe another incident where Zanmarkia’s tires were slashed overnight while she was staying with her mom.
Peoples said she noticed a large footprint in her yard, and confronted Nelson about it, threatening to turn her surveillance video in to police.
Despite not admitting to it, Peoples said Nelson purchased four new tires for Zanmarkia that same day.
Zanmarkia’s parents say they tried to talk to Nelson about their disapproval of the large age gap between he and Zanmarkia, but the two continued to date.
When Zanmarkia’s parents got a call to come out the scene, they say they didn’t know Zanmarkia was dead at that point, and it wasn’t until a few hours later that they found out.
They say trying to pick up the pieces has been indescribable.
“It’s like a brand new life, it’s a different life now,” Peoples said. “I have to go back and just start all over without her because you don’t know right off what’s your next step, what’s your next move, but it’s really hard.”
“She was so vibrant and so lively,” said Willie Williams, Zanmarkia’s father. “She had a great personality, everybody loved her. You could tell by her friends and her family. It has been hard to deal with; such a beautiful girl like that and she had so much going for herself. She was getting ready to graduate from college, her birthday was coming up prior to that. At 21 years of age, you’re just flourishing, you’re just becoming a woman. He took a lot from us when he did that.”
Zanmarkia’s sudden death has also been hard on her friends and classmates. On what would’ve been her 21st birthday on February 26, her classmates hosted a balloon release on the HCCC campus.
Peoples said Zanmarkia had plans to open her own beauty salon after graduating and become a licensed barber. She also wanted to pursue a culinary degree.