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Stepsister: Emerald Hills murder victim 'feared for her safety'

Stepsister: Emerald Hills murder victim 'feared for her safety'
Posted at 4:12 PM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 20:43:57-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Loved ones are mourning the death of an Emerald Hills woman found dead in her car, her vehicle apparently pierced with bullet holes through the windshield.

At 10:50 p.m. Saturday, surveillance video at a home next to Emerald Hills Neighborhood Park reveals the quiet of the night, interrupted by the apparent sound of a series of gunshots.

About 20 minutes minutes later, video shows police arriving to investigate.

Neighbors says they looked around for more than 10 minutes and eventually left.

The next morning, about 200 yards away, the body of 44-year-old Tamara Shellum was discovered inside her car, near the entrance of the park. In her windshield were several apparent bullet holes.

“Heartbreaking. I don't even know how we're going to go on without her,” said a tearful Kim Bryant, Shellum’s stepsister.

Bryant got a call from Shellum's son Brandon, who lives in Arkansas. He was notified by police on Mother's Day about the death of his mother.

“Devastating. Never even got a chance to say Happy Mother's Day,” said Bryant. “She was such a bubbly, vibrant, wonderful person.”

Bryant calls Shellum a loving person with a troubled past, including ongoing drug issues.

Bryant, who lives in Desert Hot Springs, says Shellum had visited her for a week in late April.

“She basically said she had a few enemies and wouldn’t tell me who. She didn't feel safe and needed to leave,” said Bryant.

Bryant says Shellum was planning on moving to Desert Hot Springs and starting a dog grooming business, before that grim discovery near the park.

According to Bryant, Shellum, who lived near the park with her boyfriend, was known for sitting in her car for alone time.

“So she'd go sit in the park and play on her phone,” said Bryant.

Police did collect the video of the apparent gunshots, but have yet to release the cause of death. Bryant is now making a plea for tips.

“She didn’t deserve this and deserves justice. Please, please come forward with information,” said Bryant.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call San Diego Police Homicide Unit at 619-531-2293 or Crimestoppers at 888-580-8477.

A Gofundme campaign has been set up to help the family with expenses.