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Sister remembers life of Kelsey Tennant who died after neighbor attacked her in apartment

Posted: 5:41 PM, Mar 21, 2017
Updated: 2017-03-21 19:28:44-04

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. -- Family members are choosing to focus on how Kelsey Tennant lived her life rather than the tragic way it ended.

Tennant, 19, died Monday night after Tulsa police said Gregory Epperson broke into her apartment near 65th and Mingo and strangled her.

Tennant's older sister, Courtney Jefferson, said she had a sassy, stubborn side with the most contagious smile and laugh.

"Everybody who met her never had a negative thing to say about her," Jefferson said. "She loved so many people, and was loved by so many people."

Jefferson also described her sister as adventurous and selfless. Tennant loved riding on four-wheelers and go-karts, according to Jefferson. Her giving spirit also came out when Tennant took care of her two-year-old nephew and when she worked to help children during her many mission trips over the years.

"She was a special person," Jefferson said. "Anybody that had the opportunity to meet her was very blessed."

Recently Tennant and her boyfriend, Riley, celebrated their two-year anniversary together. They both performed with the Broken Arrow Pride during high school. Jefferson said it was one of her sister's proudest accomplishment to make the color guard.

"She was so nervous when she tried out because she didn't want to not make it," Jefferson said. "When she made it, she was just ecstatic."

Tennant's boyfriend is still recuperating after the suspect also attacked him when his family said he sensed something was wrong and came home to check on Tennant.

"Their relationship gave me hope that there are still some very special people out there," Jefferson said. "I know that he loved her very much and did anything for her."

The suspect is due in court on March 28, and now Jefferson and her family are planning Tennant's funeral. They said they'll rely on the overwhelming amount of support they're getting right now to deal with the tough days ahead.

"It's great because she's an amazing human being and never deserved this," Jefferson said through tears. "We are glad that she is now with Jesus and with all the other angels that have gone on before her."

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