Coping with Lucy's Loss - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/30/04

Coping with Lucy's Loss

"She was a good girl, you know," said Jose Flores, as he remembered dancing with his daughter at her quincineta.

"Sometimes I think she's in a better place," said her mother. She recalled how Lucy was friendly towards everyone, especially the elderly on Sunday morning. "They would go to church and she would help the old people to walk," smiled Jesusita. Memories as bright as the pink flowers that hang over her portrait in the living room. The image of a teenager who would have turned 35 this summer.

"Mr. Villegas did you murder Ms. Castillo?" the 59-year-old man was asked. He did not reply. After 17 years on the run, the man whom police believe murdered Lucy will finally face a jury, and hopefully answer a question the Flores family has held for almost 20 years. Why?

"That's what I want to know?," said Jose. "Why did he do it? She was just working," he said."

Lucy had only been working at Bray's cleaners for two and a half weeks when Mariano Villegas allegedly robbed the store and stabbed her 57 times. "When that day that it happened, I remember she was giving me a kiss and saying, 'I go late to work,' and that was the last thing she said," he said sadly.

Lucy had been excited about her job. Her mother saved a note that Lucy wrote the day before her interview. "'Dear lord, please help me to get the job, I have an interview for tomorrow. Love Lucy,'" it read.

Ok, Mr. Villegas, you have been charged with capital murder, do you understand?," asked Judge Bob Blackburn.

Coping with Lucy's loss has never ended. After the murder they visited her grave every week for years. They tried to move on, relocating to San Antonio - but, they missed visiting Lucy so much, they moved back. "I love my daughter, and I still love her," said Jose.

When Villegas goes to trial, they'll be there, and not alone. "She still lives in our hearts," smiled her mother.

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