'We called her Natalie': Family remembers murdered Sarnia woman
LONDON, ONT. -- The family of a woman killed in Sarnia, Ont. is remembering her and trying to set up a future for her daughters.
Sarnia Police, EMS and Fire were called to Lee Court Thursday, Jan. 14 for a report of a woman with serious injuries.
Natalie Bartlett, 39, was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Her partner has been charged with first-degree murder.
"Devastated is the first word that comes to mind," says Susan Truppe, the former London-North-Centre MP who was Bartlett's aunt.
"It was shocking when Natalie's mom Ann got the call. She's my husband's sister.
You never should have to bury your sisters child, let alone bury your child for a senseless tragic death like this. It's horrific and they aren't doing well."
Bartlett was a stay-at-home mother of two little girls.
"Isabelle, (8), and Laila, (11) were happy little girls that liked to play," says Truppe.
"Now there are two little girls trying to make sense of why their mother is not there. It's so very sad."
Sarnia Ont. murder victim Natalie Bartlett (Contributed)
A pair of GoFundMe pages have been set up for the girls future.
Natalie's brother Thomas Bartlett started one.
"Life going forward will be very difficult for them emotionally and financially," Thomas wrote.
"If you can afford to help ease one of those burdens please donate to support Laila and Isabelle."
The family of the girls' father also created a fundraiser.
"Tyler has now been tasked to act as mom and dad for the two girls," wrote Chelsie Abraham, the girls aunt.
"Our hope is to raise $75,000 for Tyler and the children to help with child care expenses and startup education fund for the two girls."
Along with the fundraising campaigns, the obituary reads in lieu of flowers donations can be made to London Abused Women's Centre (LAWC).
"They’ve chosen LAWC because Susan Truppe is the aunt of Natalie Rose Bartlett and we hope that people will remember her name," says Megan Walker, executive director of LAWC.
"When Susan was in government she was the strongest and fiercest advocate of funding services for women. She was Parliamentary Secretary to the Status of Women. We worked closely with Susan and she worked very closely with many of the women who came into our office. "
Truppe now works for Ontario Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Lisa McLeod.
"You never think it happens this close to home," says Truppe.
"Minister McLeod and I were talking yesterday and she said the same thing. How ironic we've been fighting for women and girls for years both federally and provincially and it ends up I know someone who is so close to us that was tragically murdered."
Both Walker and Truppe say they need to keep Natalie's memory alive. They plan to designate funds given to LAWC in her name.
"We always are fighting as women’s organizations and risking so much to change the lives of women in our community," says Walker.
"What we need is more men to come forward and fight with us, because they are ultimately the ones who will change this course of events for women."
Truppe says Natalie grew up in Wheatley, Ont., before moving to London, then Sarnia. In her younger days she loved music, concerts, and travelling across the country.
However, when she had children they became her main focus and priority.
"What I loved about Natalie is that she believed strongly in empowering women and girls. She instilled that in her two girls even though they were young. How ironic. The focus now is looking after the girls."
The Sarnia Police Service Criminal Investigations Branch has charged her partner Joseph Dominic Dicarlo (45), of Sarnia with first degree murder. He is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 19. by video.