MARINETTE COUNTY - Those who've worked with the Rainbow House, in Marinette, say Patricia Waschbisch stepped up as its leader when no one else did.
"She's been their interim director there for a number of years because they were having a hard time filing that position and she just had that commitment to serve people that often times don't have that level of support they need," said State Rep. John Nygren of Marinette.
Nygren has known Waschbisch for about ten years.
Investigators say Waschbisch was found dead just after 7 p.m. Sunday at her home on Thompson Street in Peshtigo.
The Department of Justice says Brent Kaempf, Waschbish's boyfriend of eight years, was taken into custody for questioning overnight.
Investigators have not released much information, but have a news conference scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday.
"She was a tireless advocate for battered women," said Nygren. "She did a good job humanizing the impacts of domestic violence. If you sat down and had these conversations with her, you really had to take note."
FOX 11 did talk with Waschbish last September. She spoke about restraining orders, and whether they are an effective tool against domestic violence.
"The restraining order to them is nothing more than a piece of paper and in some cases it won't do a lot," said Waschbish.
While authorities continue to piece together what might have happened, Waschbish's family, friends, and colleagues are mourning her loss.
"Trish has given her life to this organization and was an exceptional leader in the fight against domestic violence," wrote Francine Kitkowski, the president of Rainbow House's board of directors. "Her legacy will live on in our hearts and many others forever."
"She will definitely be missed and the passion that she had for this issue is something that I don't think will be easy to replace in our community," said Nygren.
FOX 11 did talk with the step-father of Kaempf, the person of interest. He did not want to talk on camera, but told FOX 11 on the phone this situation has been difficult on his family and they were surprised by the news.
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