Teen Relationship Turns Abusive ... and Worse

Parents saw no threat in daughter's new boyfriend, until it was too late.

ByABC News
June 25, 2009, 1:53 PM

June 26, 2009 -- Tiffany Barwick's parents still wonder how they missed the signs. How did they so seriously misjudge their daughter's new boyfriend?

In high school, Tiffany was spirited and outgoing, and loved acting. At 19, she left her hometown of Ocala, Fla., for the University of Central Florida in Orlando. There she met Andrew Allred, whom her parents deemed a little bit odd.

"When he'd come to the house, you'd have to tell him to sit down, you know, otherwise he would stand over by the door," Tiffany's mom, Kim Barwick said.

Tiffany and Allred's friends didn't always understand his weird behavior, either.

Watch "20/20" TONIGHT at 10 p.m. ET for the full story.

"He was just extremely rude to everyone. You know, called people names," said a friend, Charles Bateman. Even though the Barwicks and Allred's friends found Andrew's behavior to be a little off, they never believed him capable of criminal violence.

Friends say Allred was a shy and reclusive type, Tiffany's complete opposite. But Tony Barwick, Tiffany's father, never felt concerned. He never witnessed any fighting between the two, or noticed any aggressive behavior, he said.

"Anything she wanted or needed, he took care of her," said Barwick.

Friends, too, noticed that Allred was good to Tiffany -- in the beginning at least. Before long, however, the sweetness began to disappear. Allred lapsed into his typical cranky, bullying behavior, friends said.

After nine months, Tiffany decided she had had enough.

"Next Tuesday I am breaking up with my boyfriend," she wrote in an online journal. "He doesn't know. I am fed up with it." Tiffany had decided to wait until after Allred's upcoming 21st birthday party. Allred's best friend from childhood, Michael Ruschak, 22, was helping to throw the party. Tiffany didn't want to ruin it.

Her plan did not work out. Allred hacked into her journal and discovered her plan. He threw her out of his birthday party and began throwing her things over the fence, reported friends who were at the party. The scene got uglier, and Allred, who was drunk at the time, began spraying his friends with beer and tossing firecrackers and rocks at Tiffany and others.