Murder victim’s family speaks out



Nicole Lynn McKee

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

“For me as a mom, there is a hole in my heart and soul. Nikki wasn’t just my beloved daughter, but also my best friend and soul mate.” These are the tender words of a mom in mourning.

Nicole Lynn McKee, 40, was murdered in January 2013, allegedly after suffering a beating at the hands of her boyfriend. Her daughter, now just four years old, witnessed her mother’s murder.

It was a brutal assault that lasted three days, said her step-grandmother, Caryl Calsyn, of Marble Falls.

She, Nikki’s mother (Linda Calsyn) and Nikki’s brother (Andrew Calsyn,) who also both live in Marble Falls, will travel to a Travis County courtroom next week to face James Palacio, the accused murderer. He was Nikki’s boyfriend at the time and father of their daughter.

Although she spent most of the last three months of her life in Marble Falls, Nikki died in Mustang Ridge, south of Austin.

“Nikki was the most loving person I have ever known in my life,” her mother wrote. “She was full of love, light and warmth.” Nikki’s family and friends remember her compassion, empathy and sympathy.

“She was the first to give a hug and encouraging word to someone who needed it,” Linda wrote. “She never failed to give her love, time or energy when someone needed her.”

For the full story, see Friday's Highlander.

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