BOILING SPRINGS, S.C. (WSPA) — “I know I’m never going to see her again. She’ll never call me again,” said the mother pf a woman who was shot and killed at a Sevier County rental cabin last weekend.
Deborah Jones is the mother of Shelby Lynn Booth, 26, of Boiling Springs. Booth was murdered last weekend at a cabin just off the Gatlinburg spur.
The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office arrested her boyfriend, 21-year-old Julian Popoca, from Wellford, South Carolina. Popoca confessed to shooting Booth and is charged with second-degree murder.
Booth’s mother said she tried to get in touch with her daughter on May 7, the day she was killed.
“He took away somebody that will be loved and missed by a lot of people. Nobody’s life will be the same anymore,” said Jones.
“Every emotion you could feel from hate, to rage, to why,” she said.
Booth’s childhood best friend, Micah Mills, says he spoke with her right before she died.
“She told me she was in Gatlinburg and ready to come home and 20 minutes later, she was shot and killed,” Mills said.
The sheriff’s office said they received a call around 1 o’clock Saturday afternoon. A report provided by the sheriff’s office showed Popoca admitted to shooting Booth multiple times during an argument.
Mills said he didn’t find out about the murder until the next day.
“I was scrolling through Facebook and I seen his mugshot and I told my mom, I was like, that’s Shelby’s boyfriend. And I said, he killed somebody,” said Mills.
Now, Booth’s mother is left wanting justice for a daughter she said was taken too soon.
“I can’t protect her anymore, there’s nothing else I can do, except for make sure what happened is taken care of the right way, through justice,” she said.
“She was beautiful, she had a good heart, she’d do anything for anybody. She was intelligent, funny,” said Jones.
Mills echoed that sentiment.
“She was just full of life, you know? That was my best friend, we went through a lot of stuff together,” he said.
Booth’s estranged husband said they remained close despite marital problems.
“Shelby was one of the sweetest souls I’ve ever known and she cared about people so much. She taught me so much about life and love and so many other things. She seen me through some of the most difficult times of my life,” said Jamie Booth.
“I don’t know how such a sweet, kind girl found herself with this monster. She was a sweet beautiful soul that just got lost and was taken way too young,” he added.
Popoca is being held at the Sevier County Jail awaiting arraignment.