Friends of Ellie Weik: Video proves she was stalked before murder

Friends of Ellie Weik describe harassment
Ellen "Ellie" Weik (Provided)
Ellen "Ellie" Weik (Provided)
Michael Strouse (Butler Co. Jail)
Michael Strouse (Butler Co. Jail)

WEST CHESTER, OH (FOX19) - Court records show that a West Chester woman was stalked for months leading up to her murder, and now friends of hers are releasing video to prove it.

Those who knew and loved Ellen Weik, or Ellie, said she will be remembered as a beautiful spirit and as a special soul inside and out.

"There was something about her that made you feel safe," said her close friend Hannah.

The young woman disappeared in July and was later found murdered, police said. They said Michael Strouse is facing charges for the crime -- he is accused of killing Weik and harassing her.

Friends of Weik said that she had been terrified for months. She had been telling her friends that someone was stalking her non-stop.

"She even had other friends come over and stay the night with her because she was so scared," said Hannah.

Records show that Weik's mother called West Chester Police on April 11, reporting that someone had snapped a photo of Weik while she was sitting at her dining room table and then sent it to her to scare her. The picture appeared to be taken from outside their home.

"It was like a very sick game of cat and mouse," said Hannah. "It was serious, you could tell."

Police, per records, patrolled Weik's house two more times that week.

A friend of Weik's said that she and Weik had a disturbing conversation on April 14, where Weik said, "I don't know if I'm safe," and told her friend that someone recorded video of her inside her house without her knowing while she was home alone, and then sent the video to her phone. Hannah said that was not the first time it happened to Weik, or the last.

"That's not the only thing that's been recorded or sent to her," said Hannah. "She kept asking who it was, and they would reply, 'You know who it is.'"

The problems, Hannah said, continued up until Weik's death, which is something Hannah believes likely led to her dear friend losing her life.

"That's what is so scary about all of this and so heartbreaking is she did what you're told to do. She did all of the right things, and it still happened," said Hannah. "Where is the closure in that?"

West Chester officials said Wednesday they could not answer whether Strouse had been questioned about the harassment report back in April, or if he was the suspected stalker at that time.

Police did provide a statement saying:

"The case is still very active and in the preparation stage for the criminal trial and much attention is being given daily by law enforcement. The West Chester Police Department's focus is to continue to investigate and support the Prosecutor in the presentation of the case.
Strouse, in jail on $4 million bond, is in court again in October.

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