Aimee Lafakis and Brandon Wineinger
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Friends of slain Atlanta mother Aimee Lafakis said there were red flags in her relationship before she vanished Friday, and remember her as a “fiercely loyal” friend who protected others.

“She was going through some tough times we had talked about it,” Lafakis’ best friend, Faith Corbin told 11Alive News. “Aimee was the one to get me out of the same situation she was in just with someone else, so it hit extremely close to home.”

“I believe she felt she had this taken care of.”

As CrimeOnline previously reported, 48-year-old Lafakis, of Brookhaven, was last heard from early Friday morning. She spoke to her ex-husband at around 2 a.m. that morning while at home at the MAA Glen apartment complex, then failed to meet her daughter for dinner the following evening.

Officials with the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Monday that a body found off of Gwinnett County’s on Drowning Creek Road is that of Lafakis. Her boyfriend, Brandon Wineinger, was arrested in connection with her disappearance.

Online jail records indicate Wineinger was initially charged with “tampering with evidence, kidnapping, false statements or writings, and burglary.” Following the discovery of the body, he’s now facing an additional charge of concealing the death of another; investigators said he made numerous false statements while being interviewed.

Corbin added that Wineinger was the “jealous type.”

“It literally makes my stomach hurt to know that this guy took her and discarded her like she was trash and she was alone by herself for days and were out looking for her and that’s the hardest part because Aimee would never ever ever let that happen to anyone else.”

“I think a lot of people think that this can’t happen to them or they’ll be able to get out of the situation soon enough,” she said. “Take this story into consideration that it could be you, you could be next.”

Charges against the defendant could be updated, pending an autopsy and the medical examiner’s determination on the cause of death. Check back for updates.

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