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Man faces murder charge in assault on Air Force vet in Las Vegas

Updated August 6, 2020 - 6:39 pm

Danielle Lynch proudly served in the Air Force. She was a single mom to twins. Caring and always giving — even in death, according to her family.

The Las Vegas resident died July 8 of blunt force head trauma, nearly two weeks after she was assaulted during what police are calling a domestic-related argument outside a bar in the northwest valley.

At the time of her death, Lynch was stationed at Nellis Air Force Base and had served in the Air Force for 18 years, reaching the rank of first sergeant.

“She built her life in the military on her own,” her father, Ron, said Thursday. “She is a hero.”

And in death, Lynch performed one final heroic deed by donating her organs — an act described as “the ultimate gift to others” by close family friend and Air Force member Derek Danker, who created a GoFundMe page to assist with the care of her 15-year-old twins, Ryan and Jackson.

“She was one of the most genuine, selfless people that I’ve ever met in my life,” said Danker, who met Lynch in 2007. “She would do anything for anyone.”

Lynch’s mother, Gail Blandford, flew from her home in Colorado to Las Vegas and has been caring for the teens, according to Lynch’s stepfather, Jim Groh.

“It’s unjust,” he said of his stepdaughter’s untimely death.

Around 10:45 p.m. on June 27, according to Las Vegas police homicide Lt. Ray Spencer, Lynch and a man were arguing outside the PT’s Gold at 7550 Oso Blanca Road when the man pushed Lynch to the ground.

She hit her head as she fell and remained hospitalized at University Medical Center until her death, which marked the 83rd homicide in Clark County this year and the 63rd investigated by Las Vegas police, according to Las Vegas Review-Journal records.

The man is identified in Las Vegas court records as Terrance Kelly, 42. Jail records show he was arrested on the night of the assault but posted bail.

He initially faced one count of domestic battery resulting in substantial bodily harm, but the charge was upgraded to open murder on July 9, the day after Lynch died.

A warrant for his arrest was issued the following day. Spencer, the homicide lieutenant, said Kelly was arrested in Florida and is awaiting extradition to Clark County.

Lynch is survived by her children, parents, stepfather and a half brother, Michael. According to her obituary, in accordance with Lynch’s wishes, her family planned to cremate her body and spread the ashes on a beach.

She would have turned 40 on Aug. 11.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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