The family of slain Fort Worth businesswoman Nicole “Nikki” Blahitka remembered her as a loving mother of two who was committed to several local charities, according to an obituary published Thursday.
A celebration of life service for Blahitka, 49, is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Christ Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth.
Blahitka was found dead last Friday at her home in the 3600 block of Middlewood Drive, an affluent area of southwest Fort Worth. She died of gunshot wounds to her head, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.
Her boyfriend, Joshua Henry, 29, was arrested in her killing. The Tarrant County district attorney’s office filed a murder charge against him Thursday, and he has a court appearance Jan. 20, according to court records.
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Henry, who was with Blahitka the night before she was found dead, confessed to shooting her, an arrest warrant affidavit said.
Henry, in a jailhouse interview, denied he killed Blahitka, but he acknowledged that he went to dinner with her last Thursday and then went to her home. After a “disagreement,” Henry said, he walked home to Benbrook.
But according to the affidavit, Henry told detectives that Blahitka retrieved a 40-caliber gun during the argument and that he grabbed it from her and shot her twice — once in the shoulder and once in the head — as she stood near her bed. The affidavit did not say what started the argument.
After the shooting, Henry told police, he left the home through a back door, hopped the fence and tossed the gun into a river.
Blahitka’s 12-year-old son and a housekeeper found her dead in her bed the next day.
Henry was arrested Monday. He remained in jail in Mansfield on Thursday with bail set at $250,000.
Loving mom and ‘fashionista’
In Blahitka’s obituary, she was described as a “fashionista” with an “incredibly nurturing adoration” for her son and 17-year-old daughter.
She was a director and partner at Lon Smith Roofing, a Fort Worth-based company founded by her stepfather in 1974.
Blahitka, the obituary said, was born in Rapid City, S.D., before moving to Fort Worth, where she graduated from Arlington Heights High School.
“God granted Nikki with a contagious smile and with an amazing heart, gifts she generously shared in many ways,” the obituary said.
She was involved in Big Brothers and Big Sisters charities and the Presbyterian Night Shelter. She also helped with Texas Health Resources’ “Puttin’ on the Pink” fashion luncheon, which raises money for women’s health.
Her children attend Fort Worth Country Day School, where Blahitka frequently volunteered, the obituary said.
“Nikki's love extended to her four-legged family members, too, her dogs,” the obituary said. “A stray dog could not cross her path without being rescued!”
Blahitka and her husband divorced in April after nearly 20 years of marriage, according to court records.
She had been dating Henry “off and on” since the divorce, Henry said, but they had met several years earlier when Henry was doing carpentry work at her home.
Blahitka’s ex-husband told police that an affair she had with Henry led to the divorce, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. Blahitka’s ex-husband said her relationship with Henry was “volatile,” the affidavit said.
Police had not been called to Blahitka’s home before last week, said Sgt. Marc Povero, police spokesman.
Court records say Henry was arrested and accused of possessing marijuana on Nov. 2, 2010. The charge was lowered to possession of drug paraphernalia. He was sentenced to deferred adjudication and successfully completed his probation, according to the records.
Henry was arrested on Aug. 13, 2014, and charged with assault with bodily injury and unlawful restraint in a case out of Fort Worth. In court, the charges were reduced to disorderly conduct, according to Tarrant County court records. The case did not involve Blahitka, Povero said.
Henry received deferred adjudication and successfully completed his probation, and he doesn’t have a conviction on his record for those offenses.