GARY | Two white memorial crosses for Teaira Batey stand in front of the abandoned home where she was found dead last week.
Her longtime boyfriend, Marvin Clinton, created the memorial Wednesday in memory of Batey. The larger cross states, "In Loving Memory of Teaira Batey 3-26-86 10-2014."
Gary detectives were led to Batey's body Oct. 19 in the 1800 block of East 19th Avenue in Gary.
Darren Vann, 43, of Gary, allegedly confessed to killing Batey and six other women.
Batey, 28, of Gary, had been missing since January. Vann has not been charged in her homicide.
Details surrounding her death are still unknown. The Lake County coroner's office ruled Batey's death a homicide, but have not determined how she died.
Clinton created the memorial because he wanted people to know she was a person. The couple had a 2-year-old son together.
"I want people to know she had a family," he said. "She wasn't a monster. Look at this picture, she had kids, she had a family."
The memorial is in front of the single-story house where Batey was found. The boarded-up green house is marked with red spray-painted numbers "1800."
The neighborhood is a mix of urban decay and regular life. There are several vacant properties along with abandoned furniture on the street.
Still, children were seen walking with backpacks through the neighborhood Wednesday afternoon. A Gary fire station is down the street from where Batey was found.
Clinton mowed part of the property before creating the memorial. He patted dirt around the crosses before mixing concrete to pour on the ground to ensure the memorial become a permanent fixture.
Four small teddy bears hang from the larger white cross to represent Batey, her son and two daughters, Clinton said. The girls were placed into the custody of the state and adopted by other families.
A photograph of Batey is tacked on the smaller white cross. The photo shows Batey sitting in the driver's seat of a vehicle, slightly turned to face the camera.
The family is finalizing details for Batey's memorial service. Clinton said the services are pending until the coroner's office releases the body.
He continued to smooth out the concrete until he decided he would have to come back another day to add another coat. He placed three vases with flowers on the memorial.
"I never imagined I would have to do something like this," he said.