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Cousins recall growing up with smart, funny headstrong Sami
Samantha Young should have begun online college classes on Monday. The single mother was nearing her goal of becoming a phlebotomist so she could better support baby daughter Arteya Young, according to her family.
"That was completely for Arteya — and herself," cousin Cierra Brown of Dallastown said. "She wanted to do that to make their lives better. ... She only had to pass her biology class and her clinicals."
But 1-year-old Arteya must face a future with no mother, and perhaps no father either. Because of that, family members have started a fund to make sure there's enough money for Arteya to grow up and eventually attend college. Go to www.gofundme.com/sfq7fq8 to donate.
Samantha Young, 21, of York Township, was killed overnight Saturday or Sunday morning, allegedly by Arteya's father, Marcus Bordelon.
Bordelon, 21, of 121 Chestnut St. in Wrightsville, remains in York County Prison without bail, charged with homicide.
Samantha's loved ones are reeling from the loss as they care for Arteya.
"Pretty much we are a very tight family — we do everything together," said 20-year-old Cierra. "Every Sunday we have a family meal. We all sit down together and pretty much just cherish each other's time. We've been doing that for years upon years."
Funny, engaging: "Sami," Cierra and two other cousins — 22-year-old Kristina Young and 21-year-old Cassandra Young, both of Red Lion — grew up together, with Sami and Cassandra born just eight days apart.
"She captured a lot of people's hearts," Cassandra said. "She was funny and engaging."
"She was really headstrong," Kristina recalled. "If she wanted something, she just went for it."
Sami wasn't shy about giving her opinion, but she did so intelligently, Kristina said.
"Everything about her drew you to her," Cierra said.
The four girl cousins spent summers together at their grandparents' home — splashing in the pool, playing with their grandparents' dogs and "just being around each other," Cierra said.
"It was so much fun. There were so many different games we would play," she said. "We were outdoor kids."
Cared for elderly: In addition to raising her daughter and trying to finish her schooling, Sami worked at Autumn House East, according to her cousins.
"She was taking care of the elderly," Cassandra said, and enjoyed spending time with residents there. "She liked hearing about their lives ... and hearing their wisdom."
The daughter of Ted Young of Dallastown and Melissa Hawkes Young of Wrightsville, Sami was a "social butterfly" who graduated from Eastern York High School in 2012, Cierra said.
She was athletic and loved playing sports, including field hockey. In her senior year, she was named an all-star in the sport, according to Cierra.
'Leave him': About five months ago, Sami's family got together and urged her to leave Bordelon because they were concerned for her safety, the cousins said.
Sami agreed and moved into the York Township home of Cierra's mother.
"I believe if we wouldn't have (told her to leave him), we wouldn't have had the extra five months with her," Cierra said.
When Sami first started dating Bordelon, she thought he was shy, according to her cousins.
"But as time went on, he did show signs of being controlling," Cierra said. "And it scared Samantha, so she got out of the situation."
Sami's cousins said they hope her story helps others recognize the dangers of domestic abuse.
They said Sami only went to Bordelon's home late Saturday night because he told her Arteya needed her.
"He didn't specify what, as far as we know," Cierra said. "He just said, 'Something is wrong with Arteya and I need you to come.'"
According to charging documents, Bordelon claimed he and Sami agreed to have a late-night dinner at his home. But her cousins say that's simply not true — that Bordelon used Sami's love for her daughter to lure her there.
"Samantha was a very good mother to Arteya," Cassandra said. "She loved her and would have done anything for that little girl."
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.