Once a month, Carolyn Watkins and her baby girl would meet at a seafood restaurant to share mother-daughter conversations.
Tomorrow, Watkins, of the 3600 block of Erdman Ave. in East Baltimore, will attend a memorial service for her daughter, Melissa, 19, who police said was killed by her live-in boyfriend in November.
Police believe Melissa L. Watkins was fatally shot during an argument Nov. 12 and her body was cut up and disposed of in a trash bin. Police said bloodstained furniture in the apartment was removed and replaced with new furniture.
She was missing for several weeks after apparently purchasing a coat at Mondawmin Mall, police and family said.
Before police arrested her boyfriend, Guy Demetric Williams, Dec. 1, he had participated in searches for his girlfriend. He has been charged with first-degree murder.
Williams, of the 5200 block of Denview Way, was arrested at the home of Carolyn Watkins.
Also charged was William A. Boyd, 20, of the 5000 block of Denview Way. Police said he knew about the murder and failed to report it. The body has not been found, but the family believes that it's time to say goodbye.
"It was two months, the 12th [of January], last Saturday," her mother said. "We decided to do it after the holidays and thought he and the other guy would have told where she was."
The memorial service for Melissa Watkins will be held at 1 p.m. at Fountain Baptist Church, 1215 E. Monument St., her mother said. Melissa was baptized there in 1983 and became a member afterward.
Melissa was the youngest of three children. She graduated from Stratford Business School in June and from Dunbar High School in 1989.
Her friends and family, the principal from Dunbar and a representative from Stratford will attend the memorial service, her mother said.
Melissa "was a sensitive person, a homebody," her mother said. "She didn't run the streets."
Her family, Carolyn Watkins said, never will be the same.
"Melissa was my baby, now I'm raising her baby," she said. "She'll be 6 months at the end of January."
Williams is the father of the child.
"This is something you read about other people," Watkins said. "Not about one of your own."
A day doesn't go by without Watkins regretting her daughter's involvement with Williams, she said.
When she first heard that Williams was arrested in Melissa's death, "I felt anger," Carolyn Watkins said. "Mainly, because we thought he was feeling the hurt we were going through . . . we went through that three weeks."
Nonetheless, Watkins can savor the memories of her and her daughter chatting at the restaurant.
"On our luncheon dates once a month . . . we'd talk about life," Watkins said. "That's why I didn't know anything was bothering her. She never told me."