• Woman set on fire by boyfriend was advocate for domestic violence victims

    Updated:
    ATLANTA - Channel 2 Action News has learned that a woman who is in critical condition after police say her ex-boyfriend set on her fire with gasoline last week was an advocate for domestic violence victims.
     
    Family and friends told Channel 2’s Matt Johnson that Melita Curtis is alert and can move her eyebrows, which is encouraging, but she remains in critical condition.
     
    She has spent years helping others and now her family is asking for prayers ahead of her long road to recovery.
     
    “She did not deserve this,” said Jocasta Odom, who was the last person to see her friend before the disturbing crime. “We can't believe this happened to our friend.” 
     
    Odom told Johnson that Curtis will remain at Grady Memorial Hospital for a while with third-degree burns but she's not the type to stop fighting.
     
    “She’s a great mother, great daughter, awesome sister, the best friend that you could ever have,” Odom said. 
     
    It was Wednesday morning when police say Mervin Woodard set Curtis on fire with gasoline in her own Clayton County home.
    Mervin Woodard
    Mervin Woodard
    © 2019 Cox Media Group.
     
    Police say he drove her to Grady and wasn't seen until Friday, when authorities found him in Curtis' attic and arrested him.
     
    “Anybody that would do this is a coward,” Odom said. 
     
    Woodard was already wanted in Clayton County for family violence and other charges since last December.
     
    Odom said Woodard and Curtis had been separated for months and it's frustrating that he was able to ambush her at her own house.
     
    “She would not be in this situation if he would have been captured seven months ago,” Odom told Johnson. 
     
    Curtis has been with the Sistah Circle organization helping domestic violence victims for 14 years. 
     
    Now her friends and family say they have no doubt she will help others again as a registered nurse.
     
    “This is just a minor pause, she will get to that final goal,” Odom said. 
     
    If you would like to help with Curtis’ medical expenses, click here

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