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Ex-husband of murdered Nashville mom says he lost his best friend, love of his life

(Submitted to Fox 17 News)

Police are looking for the man they say murdered a Nashville mom and left her body in a shed in her backyard.

Nicole ‘Nicki’ Stephens was found dead inside a shed by her 21-year-old son on Monday. He had reported her missing earlier that day.

David Stephens, her ex-husband, said Nicki Stephens had a good heart and always helped everybody. Despite their divorce, he said they remained very close friends.

Police are searching for Nicki's boyfriend Matthew McGinnis. Officers said McGinnis shot and killed her in his bedroom before taking her body back to her Nashville home.

Nicki's death is a painful reality for her ex-husband David Stephens.

“She was the most amazing person I’ve ever met,” Stephens said.

Stephens invited Fox 17 News to his school of martial arts, Shaolin Concepts, which he said was a very special place for his ex-wife.

“She was my rock,” Stephens said. “I knew at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning no matter where I was, who I was with or what I was doing; if I called her, the phone would get answered and she's there. That went both ways. It's hard to know that one person in your life is gone.”

Stephens said she was a wonderful mother to her 21-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter.

“She just wanted a good home for her children,” Stephens said. “That's all she ever talked about was seeing her kids.”

Nicki worked at well-known karaoke bar Lonnie’s Western Room. She has a lot of friends there, and a wreath has been hanging on Lonnie’s front door in her memory.

Her family and friends are hoping for justice.

Nicki Stephens' loved ones are collecting donations to help the family with funeral expenses. CLICK HERE to donate.

Matthew McGinnis has not been found by police. Anyone with information on McGinnis should call 615-742-7463.

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