A devastated New York man says he warned his fiancée in a final text message before she and their four-month-old baby were killed in a tornado last week.
Kimberly Hilliard, 35, texted her fiancé Bobby Newman a half hour before the storm hit to say the power was out and that she and their four-month-old daughter Paris were going to take a nap.
Newman, 28, says he told her to watch out for the storm and stay safe.
When he arrived at her Smithfield home 30 minutes later, he found it completely destroyed.
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He was driving through pouring rain and high water when he noticed clothing and other items all over the road.
"I could tell something terrible had happened,'' he told Syracuse.com. "I right away started calling Kim. I called probably five or six times in a row, but there was no answer. I knew it wasn't good."
Her house was gone.
Hilliard’s aunt, 70-year-old Virginia Warner, who lived nearby, was also killed in the storm.
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"People tell me I seem like I'm being really strong, but actually it just hasn't sunk in yet,'' he said. "I'm still in shock. I still just can't believe it."
He said he didn’t take the tornado warning very seriously – he couldn’t recall one ever hitting the area before.
The couple planned to marry in 2016 and were in the process of building their new home.
Newman said he does not want others to feel sorry for him.
"She was so smart and beautiful, and I will miss her,'' he said.
Newman described their baby Paris as "the happiest, most wicked beautiful baby."
Image screenshot: WSYR-TV