NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Family and friends of a woman whose body was discovered inside her Madison apartment are now praying for justice.

Metro police said 41-year-old Brooke Howard’s boyfriend, 53-year-old Steven Cosby, turned himself in Wednesday afternoon on warrants for criminal homicide and evidence tampering in connection with Brooke’s murder.

Detectives believe Brooke died as the result of blunt force trauma, saying maintenance workers found her inside her apartment off Gallatin Pike following a welfare check Tuesday.

“She was the sweetest, nicest, funniest, [most] caring person I ever met in my life,” Brooke’s son, Brandon Howard, explained.

Although hundreds of miles away, losing his mom is a pain that’s difficult to put into words.

“It hurts me to the bottom of my heart,” Brandon said. 

Although they hadn’t seen each other in awhile, Brandon said he shared a special bond with his mom and that they talked often.

“That was kind of my twin. Everything we talked about, we always joked about, we always laughed, we just had that type of bond. I had just talked to her the night before then. I had just talked to her,” Brandon said as his voice began to break.

They were planning a visit next week for his baby’s birthday, a grandbaby Brooke had yet to meet.

“She always wanted to see her grandbaby. It always put a smile on her face,” Brandon said.

It was a smile Brandon wishes he saw more of, explaining that his mom had a dark past that she was working to overcome.

“She was just trying to find her way out of darkness and her biggest thing was just to make her family and her sons proud of her,” Vanessa Sullivan told News 2. 

Brooke had built a second family with her sisters at Mending Hearts Recovery Center, where Sullivan said Brooke was known for her infectious laugh.

“It’s loud; it was so loud, like when she laughed, you couldn’t help but laugh to. She would just smile and laugh; she loved to play jokes and have fun,” Sullivan explained.

Those memories were cut short at the hands of Cosby, leaving friends and family praying that he is brought to justice and that Brooke is in a better place.

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“We read the Bible all the time together. We talked about God. I believe she’s where she’s supposed to be. She is with God and I’m very thankful she found Him and knows Him,” said Sullivan.

Metro police said Cosby is an ex-con who was arrested three times between 2017 and 2019. His previous charges include aggravated assault, order of protection violation, domestic assault, and domestic violence, with at least half of those involving Brooke as the victim.