REGINA, Ky. (WYMT) - It only takes a second for a life to change.
"It was surreal. Whenever I saw that much blood I knew that he was going to die," Beverly Hamilton said.
Hamilton is now mourning the loss of her father, Charles Ratliff, after police say her boyfriend, Michael Yates, stabbed him in a parking lot just off Regina Belcher Highway Tuesday afternoon.
Remembering the moment her dad died in her arms, Hamilton says she felt like Yates' personality flipped a switch.
"They argued before but I never thought Mike could ever do something like that," she said.
Police say an argument led to Yates stabbing her 74-year-old father along Cox Farm Road.
"We know he was stabbed one time,' Trooper William Petry said.
But officers are still waiting for autopsy results.
"That will tell if there were other injuries to him or not," Petry said.
Friends and family say what happened in the parking lot could never be explained.
"Why he done it, only he knows," Hamilton said.
"I hope he finds God in there," her friend Tommy Slone said. "And I hope he finds peace, I really do."
Neighbors in Elkhorn City are shocked a stabbing happened near their hometown, but say those enduring the loss are in their thoughts and prayers.
"I lost two people that I love that day," Hamilton said. "Even though Michael did what he did ... I loved him and I don't know why he did it."
Troopers expect the case will be taken to the Grand Jury within the next week. They say Yates is charged with murder and is currently being held in the Pike County Detention Center.
Funeral arrangements for Charles Ratliff are not known at this time.