Woman who was champion for domestic violence victims dies of suspected domestic violence

Forty-five-year-old Leslie Reeves, of Troy, Illinois, is being remembered as someone who did...
Forty-five-year-old Leslie Reeves, of Troy, Illinois, is being remembered as someone who did all she could to protect women from domestic violence.(Loved ones of Reeves)
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 10:06 AM CDT
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FARMERSVILLE, Ill. (KMOV) - A 48-year-old Collinsville man is accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend on Thanksgiving Day in 2021.

Robert Tarr, 48, of Collinsville, Illinois, was charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. On Nov. 25, 2021, officers were called to a home in the 100 block of Nobbie Street in Farmersville, Illinois for a welfare check. When deputies arrived, they found Leslie Reeves, 45, of Troy, Illinois, shot to death and the man who lived there with critical injuries. Tarr, Reeves’ ex-boyfriend, was arrested and charged with charged with first-degree murder. His bond was set at $2 million.

Robert Tarr, 48, is charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.
Robert Tarr, 48, is charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.(Montgomery County, Illinois State's Attorney)

Reeves was remembered as someone who did all she could to protect women from domestic violence.

Dawn Mushill was a friend and serves as the executive director of the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce.

“She advocated for domestic violence and women who were in situations where they needed to either defend themselves or get out of the situation,” Mushill recalled.

In 2013, Reeves opened a fitness studio and party venue in Troy. There, she hosted a weekly yoga class and support group for victims of domestic violence. Reeves also taught self-defense classes and firearms training for women. In 2018, she started volunteering for Call For Help, an agency that provides a sexual assault hotline and services to support victims of sexual assault.

Teresa Pedigo was a friend of Reeves and serves on the agency’s board of directors.

“Whether she was doing some counseling or countless defense courses she was always encouraging individuals to do whatever they needed to be safe,” said Pedigo.

Reeves also served on the board of directors of Good Samaritan House, a domestic violence shelter in Granite City. After 20 years of operation the shelter closed but Reeves helped get it reopened and made sure that the building was fully secure and panic buttons were installed to protect the women staying there.

Friends are planning a way to pay tribute to all Reeves did to protect women from domestic violence. “I mean just tremendous impact on the community, that is going to be so much missed,” said Pedigo.

Reeves leaves behind two children, a 6th grader and an 8th grader. A fund has been set up to take donations to help pay for their education. Victims of domestic violence can call these 24-hour hotlines: In St. Louis, 314-531-7273 and in the Metro-East, 618-235-0892.