When Carol Bowne felt the threat of domestic violence, the petite hairdresser took steps to protect herself.
The Berlin Township woman got a restraining order against a former boyfriend, installed security cameras and an alarm system to her home and began the months-long process of obtaining a handgun, friends said.
But it wasn’t enough.
Bowne, 39, was stabbed to death in the driveway of her Patton Avenue home on Wednesday night.
Her former boyfriend, 45-year-old Michael Eitel, was charged with her murder. Eitel, a convicted felon, was a fugitive Thursday, being sought by a U.S. Marshals Service task force.
Bowne’s death shocked her friends and neighbors, who described her as a bubbly, well-liked person. But her slaying also embittered some, who felt the system had failed to protect a woman in danger.
“She did absolutely everything she was supposed to,” said Denise Lovallo, a fellow hairdresser at O’Hara and Co. in Somerdale.
“Do they have enough now to get him?” she asked of Bowne’s attacker.
The White Horse Pike salon closed Thursday, as workers sobbed, embraced and held hands in a small reception area.
“We’re family,” said Linda O’Hara, the salon’s owner and Bowne’s employer for 20 years.
Co-workers had planned to hold a party in the salon Thursday to mark Bowne’s pending 40th birthday. They said Bowne, who had no children, also planned to celebrate by traveling with friends to Punta Cana, a resort in the Dominican Republican.
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