LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend in her Las Vegas apartment while leaving her daughter alive had threatened to kill her before, according to her family.
Makayla Adams, 20, was stabbed to death by 24-year-old Michael Ricks on Tuesday, Sept. 13 in her home near Martin Luther King Boulevard and Washington Avenue, police said.
Makayla’s mother, Monica Miner, said in an interview with 8 News Now that she wishes her daughter could have found a way out sooner so that maybe she wouldn’t have been killed.
Makayla’s daughter with Ricks, 8-month-old Amoura, is now in the hands of her grandparents, Miner said.
“Every day we tell her how much we love her and how much Makayla loves her,” Miner said. “Thankfully, Amoura was spared and she will be the legacy of Makayla.”
Miner came home on the evening of Makayla’s death to find the bathroom window broken into and instantly knew something was wrong. She said her daughter was laying in a pool of her own blood right next to baby Amoura, who wasn’t hurt.
“I was begging her not to die,” Miner said. “As soon as I seen my daughter on the ground in the blood, I knew Michael did it.”
Miner told 8 News Now her daughter was in an abusive relationship with Ricks. The two lived together in San Diego before Adams finally came home to Las Vegas to live with her parents in June.
“Makayla’s told me he has choked her, dragged her by her hair, pulled her out of bed while she was sleeping,” Miner said.
She added that her daughter would regularly escape home to Las Vegas to be with her parents, but Ricks always convinced her to return.
“He would manipulate her mind and talk her into going back to him, ‘I’ll be good, I’m sorry, forgive me, it won’t happen again,’ and Makayla loved him,” Miner said.
Makayla came home for good in June before Ricks began to send her messages under fake social media accounts threatening her family, according to Miner.
“He kept saying he was on his way or he would say he was here and watching us,” Miner said.
Makayla had restraining orders against him in California and was in the process of filing one in Nevada, according to Miner.
“I think regardless, he would have went to any extent and length to get to Makayla because if he couldn’t have her, no one was going to,” she said.
Liz Ortenburger, CEO of domestic violence shelter SafeNest, said restraining orders don’t always protect you from an abuser.
“A restraining order is as good as the police department that is going to enforce it,” Ortenburger said.
Ortenburger added that Adams did the right thing by leaving, but the first three to 12 months after that are when an attacker is likely to strike back.
“Those narcissistic elements of batterer personality that enables them to strangle you are the same things that will push them to murder you,” she said.
Adams would have turned 21 years old later this month, which her family said she was looking forward to.
Ricks is facing an open murder charge and is awaiting extradition to Las Vegas from San Diego, where he was arrested the day after Makayla’s death.
Those who are in a violent relationship or those who know someone in a violent relationship are urged to seek help immediately. 8 News Now has compiled a list of resources for domestic violence and abuse victims. For a list of emergency hotlines, legal advice, shelters, protection order resources, and other information, visit this link.