A woman who was recently divorced and used her platform on TikTok to uplift others going through similar situations has been killed in an apparent murder-suicide.
Sania Khan, 29, was a Pakistani American photographer living in Chicago. In May, she started making TikTok videos about her recent divorce from Raheel Ahmad, 36.
On July 18, police went to a unit in Chicago to conduct a welfare check and when they arrived, officers heard a gunshot, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Inside, police found Ms Khan with a gunshot wound to the back of her head and Ahmad was found in the bedroom, with a gunshot wound.
Ms Khan was pronounced dead at the scene, and Ahmad later died at the hospital.
Ahmad reportedly travelled to Chicago from the US state of Georgia, in hopes of salvaging his marriage, however, Ms Khan's friends said their divorce was finalised in May this year.
His family in Atlanta reported him missing and said he was depressed, the Chicago Sun-Tribune reported.
TikToker encouraged woman to look out for 'red flags'
In May this year, Ms Khan started sharing videos online to empower other South Asian women going through a divorce. She shared videos where she indicated she would be putting herself first, however, she also shared how she felt sadness and as though she was isolated.
"No one tells you how hard it is to lose your best friend, your love and your future you dreamed of together when you go through a divorce," she wrote on TikTok in late May.
In another video, she encouraged women to stop ignoring "red flags".
One particularly gut-wrenching video showed a picture of Ms Khan when she was a child and then after her divorce.
She said when she felt sad she would think about how proud her younger self would be of the woman she had become.
"I followed my dreams to become a photographer, am the most confident I've ever been and chose myself over any man," she said.
She said the first few months of divorce are the "darkest", filled with anxiety and sleepless nights. Ms Khan said she thought Allah abandoned her and that she felt "hopeless".
"You are not a failure because your marriage did not work out. Be gentle with your heart during this stage. Time does heal all things and it will get better," she said in that same video.
She didn't share any videos on TikTok in July. The last few posts she made were about her friend's wedding.
Thousands raised for family and organisations
Following the new of Ms Khan's death, people on TikTok highlighted the fact she had created a space to discuss the stigma of divorce within the South Asian community and how she empowered other women.
On her website where she promoted her photography, she said she moved to Chicago in 2021, however, she grew up in Tennessee.
She said while working as a flight attendant she always enjoyed layovers in Chicago. However, her heart was always set on photography, a skill which was part of Ms Khan's identity for as long as she could remember.
A GoFundMe was set up for Ms Khan's mother to help pay for the funeral expenses and the remaining money would be given to the Peaceful Families Project and Sakhi.
"Both of these organisations are national and focused on working against domestic violence for Muslim and South Asian people," the GoFundMe organiser said.
"They employ education, advocacy, and direct action to provide support."
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.