MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The family of a woman set on fire by her boyfriend is speaking out.
They are sharing her story in the hope that it will help others in abusive relationships get help.
Vanessa Danielson, 36, died after police say her boyfriend, 32-year-old Wyndale Fayson, doused her bed in gasoline and lit it on fire while she was sleeping on Sept. 28. Danielson died from her injuries.
“She couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Natalie Lipscomb, Danielson’s sister.
Lipscomb says she and Danielson, who are only a year apart in age, were close. Lipscomb says her sister would sometimes tell her about violent nights with Fayson.
“She’d have a bruise on her face and say, ‘Can you see it?'” Lipscomb said.
Wendy Stepanchak, Danielson’s mother, says her daughter was a vulnerable adult, and that she wouldn’t call police because she was afraid of what Fayson would do.
Stepanchak says after her daughter refused to move in with her, she contacted Adult Protective Services — but they sent her a letter saying they couldn’t help.
“I ripped it up and threw it away,” Stepanchak said. “I said I’ve done everything I can.”
Danielson called police In July after her sister called her during an incident with Fayson. He would plead guilty to felony domestic assault, but he was let out of jail with a no-contact order.
Two months later, police say he lit Danielson on fire at her northeast Minneapolis apartment.
Stepanchak adopted Danielson’s 5-year-old son from a previous relationship. The family takes comfort in knowing she isn’t in pain anymore, but they hope others struggling will get out before it’s too late.
“It isn’t just about you. Your family, they are affected, too, and suffer,” Stepanchak said. “I would just encourage them to please leave.”
Fayson was also burned in the fire. He is in the hospital and his condition will need to improve before he can make his first court appearance.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist Danielson’s family with funeral expenses and the future care of her son.