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"You Only Get One Best Friend" Family of Slain Counselor Speaks out

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Nearly a month after the brutal murder of a beloved counselor in her Madison office, Melissa Hamilton’s family spoke out for the first time.

If all gratitude came in the form of tokens, Maria Williams would never have enough.

“This is Missy's first coin,” Williams said.

She held a golden token given to her by Melissa during the interview.

“When she initially got clean, this was her surrender coin, and she gave it to me the first Christmas she got clean,” Williams said.

Most of us heard Melissa Hamilton’s name for the first time after she died, found brutally murdered in her Madison counseling office.

“I left in my robe, in my pajamas. I knew the minute we pulled up and [saw] her car that something was wrong,” Williams recalled. “For somebody to have done that to her, it's unfathomable. How do you do that to somebody?”

Williams wants her to be remembered for how she lived.

“Her laugh, Her little quirkiness. Her long conversations. Just her amazing ability to love big,” Williams said.

“She was my first cousin and my best friend. We called each other ‘our person,’ like Christina Yang and Meredith Grey.”

In many ways, the last 11 years of Melissa’s life were a second chance.

“Missy got clean and changed her whole life,” Williams said.

After a dedicated fight to overcome addiction, she dedicated her life to helping others conquer theirs. It was passion that saved her person too.

“I got addicted,” Williams said. “When nobody else believed that I could do it, Missy did.”

Hamilton died in the office where she changed lives.

“It's amazing what she meant to other people, because I know what she meant to me,” Williams said, holding back tears.

It was just a small token of the of the impact she left behind.

“It helps me stay clean, because I don't want to let her down,” she said.

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