Bobby Lee Taylor is charged with the murder of Rosaline Ransom-Lee. He faces one count of first degree murder, one count of felony murder and one count of first degree criminal sexual conduct. If convicted, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. Taylor has several prior criminal convictions including possessing stolen property, dangerous drugs, aggravated assault and escape from prison.
Police say her body was dumped in the lake before a fisherman discovered it. Detectives found Lee's van a block away from the lake.
Lee's case was thrust into the national spotlight when Star Jones, a close personal friend of the family, spoke out about her murder.
Star Jones used her contacts to get the word out because someone knows the truth and potential witnesses can help solve this case.
"If you were in that Pontiac lake area, did you see a white van? Did you have your cellphone with you when you saw that white van. If you could just relay that small bit of information to law enforcement," Jones said.
However, sadly there are thousands of women like Lee -- women beaten or tragically killed -- whose cases have been left unsolved. Their families have been left torn apart.
"Women are vulnerable. And a lot of times people don't see African American women in the same way. This was a valuable life deserving of the same level of attention that we sometimes give other women, other men, other children. It's important. Every life is important," Jones said.
But for Jones, this particular case is sending her on an emotional journey.
Before she was a TV star, she worked as a homicide prosecutor for many years, putting away the bad guys. Now, her loved ones are struggling for answers and hoping for justice, remembering a life cut short by murder.
"This is a young woman who left three babies -- a 9-month-old, a 6-year-old and a 12-year-old -- and they all have questions. And so does everyone else who loved an respected Rhonda," Jones said.
What happened to Lee has inspired Jones to help other women. She has created a sort of checklist she is calling "Rhonda's Rules," showing women how to get their affairs in order. So, if a tragedy strikes, family is protected.
View: Rhonda's Rules website