Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Slain Woman Just 'Did Things Her Way'; 'STRONG-WILLED' the 20-Year-Old Woman Found with McNair Left High School for Nashville. 'IT'S NOT TRUE' Sahel Kazemi's Sister Said the Two Were in Love and Planned to Marry

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Slain Woman Just 'Did Things Her Way'; 'STRONG-WILLED' the 20-Year-Old Woman Found with McNair Left High School for Nashville. 'IT'S NOT TRUE' Sahel Kazemi's Sister Said the Two Were in Love and Planned to Marry

Article excerpt

Byline: LIZ VAN HOOSER

Wails of mourning could be heard from an Orange Park home Sunday afternoon as friends and family reacted to the news that 20-year-old Sahel Kazemi was found dead with former Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair.

In an interview from her home off Argyle Forest Boulevard, Soheyla Kazemi said her sister expected McNair to leave his wife in the next few weeks and would eventually marry her.

Police said Sunday that McNair's death was a homicide but stopped short of calling the deaths a murder-suicide, The Associated Press reported. Soheyla expressed disbelief that her sister was capable of murder.

"It's not true. She loves Steve too much," Soheyla, 46, said. "She said they were planning to get married."

Sahel Kazemi and McNair, 36, were found dead Saturday afternoon at a condo McNair reportedly owned with another man. McNair is married and has four children. According to The Tennessean, an autopsy revealed McNair was shot four times - twice in the head and twice in the chest. Kazemi died of a gunshot to the side of the head. Police have not confirmed if it was a murder-suicide but have said they are not actively looking for suspects.

Soheyla said Sahel lived in Jacksonville for three years and attended Orange Park High School before dropping out and moving to Nashville, Tenn., with her then-boyfriend, Keith Norfleet. Soheyla is Sahel's sister, but said because she had raised Sahel after their mother was killed in Iran 10 years ago, Soheyla calls Sahel her daughter. The family left Iran after their mother's death and moved to Turkey. They moved to Jacksonville in 2002, Soheyla said.

Soheyla didn't approve of Sahel's move to Nashville, but she didn't ask permission. She was strong-willed and did things her own way, said Sepide Salmani, Sahel's 23-year-old niece.

"We didn't know until she had her things packed and said she was leaving," Salmani said.

Sahel was described by her relatives as a party girl who loved to go clubbing and be out with friends. …

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