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Funeral Arrangements Announced Murdered Menifee Mother

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FRENCHBURG, Ky. (LEX 18) - The Menifee County woman police say was run over and killed by her husband will be laid to rest Saturday.

Family members have announced funeral arrangements for 18-year-old Mariah Prater.

Police have charged Mariah's husband, Austin Prater, with murder, violation of a Kentucky Emergency Protective Order, leaving the scene of an accident and tampering with physical evidence.

According to his arrest citation, Austin told police that Mariah fell out the passenger side of his truck before his left rear tire ran over her. Prater called 911 but police say he didn't give his name.

They also say Prater threw his cell phone in the grass as he left the scene behind. Dispatchers found her body in a ditch a short time later.

The EPO against him is in Anderson County and expires December 13, 2019. Mariah's stepmother, Ashley Fields, said that Mariah filed the protective order against Austin last year, claiming he punched and beat her after a night of drinking. Fields said that Mariah was working to maintain her relationship with Austin for the sake of the couple's four-year-old daughter. 

"It can be hard for some women to break away from them and I think she struggled with that," said Fields. 

Mariah told her stepfather that she was going down to Menifee County Tuesday night because Austin volunteered to make a repair on her car. She was found in the ditch just two hours later. 

"A lot of people have been saying I always knew he'd end up hurting her, or I always knew he'd end up killing her," said Fields. "She was a beautiful girl and she could've, she could've done whatever she wanted to."

Prater was arrested Wednesday morning. 

Visitation for Mariah will be held Friday from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Herald and Stewart Funeral Home in Montgomery County. Her funeral will be held Saturday at noon at the same location.

Family members are raising funds for Mariah's funeral. If you wish to donate, click here.

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