Teen accused of killing ex, victim's sister talks to 3TV

Posted: Updated:
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

EL MIRAGE – “She was supposed to be at the library doing homework with friends and I guess left with him,” says 15-year-old Iva Herman’s older sister.

The suspect in her murder has been identified as 16-year old Thomas Odom. They had been dating off and on since 8th grade. Iva’s sister, Emily, tells 3TV, “She trusted him…believed he was good in some way.”

Still Emily says Odom would not leave her sister alone and on Wednesday afternoon Iva was found dead near Thunderbird and 126th Avenue.

Emily says, “That night when she did not come home my mom knew something was wrong.” Police say Odom beat his ex-girlfriend to death.

Some of their final moments together were caught on surveillance video as they left a library together.

Emily explains, “The reason why she walked out that library with him was to make him understand, ‘Hey this is just a friendship nothing more’.”

Iva was dead a short time later. El Mirage police arrested Odom on Thursday. He was covered in bruises, fresh cuts and scratches.

Emily remembers once, months ago, seeing a bruise on her sister and wanting to go to the police but Iva begged her not to. Now Emily says she hopes others are able to learn from this terrible teen tragedy.

“You see someone, a friend or yourself, you see a boy not leave you alone, seem threatening, go to an adult…make them listen.”

Odom is charged with first-degree murder and will be tried as an adult. If found guilty, the maximum sentence would be life in prison because the death penalty cannot be sought for a defendant under the age of 18.