Karen Guthrie searched for pictures and "sentimental things" Monday as she stepped over baby shoes and board games in the house where her sister was fatally beaten.
Chattanooga police investigators said John "Budweiser" Wiser, 27, slammed his wife's head into a bedroom wall so hard on Sept. 7 that picture frames fell to the floor. Then he choked her as two small children stood nearby, according to police records.
"The nine-year-old took his little brother to his bedroom so he wouldn't have to see the rest," Guthrie said.
Shannon Wiser, 31, died Sunday from her injuries, police said.
Her uncle, Derrick Brown, said his niece graduated from Chattanooga High School and worked as an accountant here.
Brown said family members traveled north from Alabama to rally for a "gifted free spirit" who enjoyed painting, drawing and raising her two boys.
"We watched her last breath, and we want justice," he said.
Police said two neighbors arrived at 3531 Sleepy Hollow Road last Tuesday and found a writhing Shannon Wiser, 31, her face covered in blood. Before losing consciousness, she muttered "hospital" twice to neighbors, records show.
Guthrie said her sister struggled on life support for five days before she died at an area hospital.
After police revealed news of Wiser's death Monday morning, officials said they planned to upgrade the charges of aggravated domestic assault and attempted first-degree murder now filed against John Wiser, who is being held on $200,000 bond in the Hamilton County Jail.
John Wiser's next scheduled appearance is in Hamilton County General Sessions Court on Oct. 4 before Judge Christine Mahn Sell.
On Sept. 4, three days before Shannon Wiser sustained the injuries that ended her life, police were called to the Sleepy Hollow Road home, records show. John Wiser had hit his wife in the face multiple times after he became "very angry because Shannon had friends over," according to Chattanooga Police Department spokeswoman Officer Rebecca Royval.
Records show that a judge issued an arrest warrant after the Sept. 4 incident, but police never caught Wiser, Royval said.
Guthrie said the couple's marriage lasted five years. She said Shannon Wiser spent time in a halfway home and filed a restraining order last Tuesday against her husband.
Hamilton County courts did not have a record of a restraining order, but Royval said it is possible that Shannon Wiser spoke with a private attorney about protection after the first incident.
"There was definitely a history [of abuse]," Royval said.