Coworkers host memorial for Samantha Drinkwater

Posted at 6:30 PM, Jul 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-25 18:43:25-04

For the family and loved ones of Samantha Drinkwater, there are so many questions that are still lingering several weeks after her death.

Drinkwater was murdered by her boyfriend earlier this month before he turned the gun on himself, Scottsdale police said. The pair were found in an apartment near Scottsdale and McKellips roads. 

But on Sunday her coworkers at the Thirsty Lion in Tempe wanted to help everyone grieve together. Those who worked with her day-in and day-out for the last few years tell ABC 15 she was relatively open about her relationship.

Thirsty Lion Manager Eric Sundell said the news of Drinkwater's death hit him with a flood of emotions. 

"I was shocked, but at the same time, I kinda wasn't shocked," Sundell explained. "Because of what kind of relationship she was in."

He said the pair had plenty of personal conversations over the years where they would talk about life and her seven-year relationship. 

"We all tried to help and kinda got numb to it after a while," Sundell said. "...You just never thought it would happen to a person you know."

Dozens of people who showed up to her memorial were shocked too. They also tried to remember her as a happy and hardworking woman. 

Her parents said they were overwhelmed by the amount of people who came to pay their respects and share stories.

"Either way we look at it, you know, it's just we're still amazed by things that we hear about her," her father, William Drinkwater, said. 

For them, their daughter's memory goes beyond her murder. 

"There's so much more to Samantha than the sound bite... of domestic abuse," William Drinkwater said. "She's just so much more than that. She really seemed to start taking off and she was really going to be somebody."

Those close to her also hope her story with strike a chord with someone else going through a similar situation. They hope they will know when to ask for help and when to accept help.

There have been accounts to support the family set-up on their behalf, including GoFundMe and YouCaring.

There are a variety of resources available to those who may be in a dangerous relationship, or know someone who is. For a list of phone numbers and organizations that can help, click here.