Conexión San Ángelo/ Valarie Tillery, contributor 

SAN ANGELO – The Family Shelter held a Candlelight Vigil in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month on October 20th to recognize the names of 146 fatalities in the State of Texas in 2016 because of domestic violence.  

“We gather in many venues to celebrate various events of cultural heritage, performance and of festivities, yet tonight represents a different kind of gathering.” 

“This is not a typical celebration, rather a commemoration and observance of domestic violence awareness month.  We do have great cause to celebrate our survivors, our social service workers and our law enforcement.”  And, also honor those 147 victims of domestic violence fatalities," read Valarie Tillery, Family Shelter, Program Director, in her opening remarks.

A candle was placed on the stage as the name, her age, how she died and the date was read (see list below).  Members of the Student Social Workers Association from Angelo State University, GAFB and other volunteers were the candle bearers. 

Prior to the reading of the names, a special dance interpretation was presented by Jordan Hulsey under the direction of Sandy Miller, Ballet San Angelo.

Two poem interpretations and a short skit was presented by Zoe Gibbons and Todd Takeda, ASU students, during the ceremony to symbolize the plight of victims. 

Public Information Officer, Tracy Gonzalez, from the San Angelo Police Department, provided a special message to the audience about the importance of family, the bearing of children and the freedom from violence in the home.  

As a special tribute to law enforcement, special recognition for police officer of the year went to Sgt. Robert Martinez, retired, of the San Angelo Police Department, Detective Rebecca Stuart, San Angelo Police Department and Deputy Quentin Williams, Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office.  

It is with great respect that we honor the names of each of the 146 domestic violence victims murdered in Texas in 2016.  We are also including one West Texas victim murdered in Odessa on August 6, 2017.  Tonight, we use the list from the Texas council on Family Violence who has compiled the names of women who have died.  Not that men do not fall from a domestic violence fatality, because we know they are out there.  The Family Shelter has already served 6 men this year. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in four adult men in the U.S. will become a victim of domestic violence during his lifetime.  However, this statistic isn't meant to downplay in any way domestic violence among women.   It is, however, intended to add to the growing conversation that anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse and everyone who needs protection deserves access to it. 

Maryl Matthews, 41 PALESTINE    SHOT

Brenda Luera Dolan, 47 ARANSAS PASS Shot

Jennifer Friedel, 32 BASTROP   Shot

Her husband also shot their 3 year old son

Erica Rodriguez, 21 BASTROP Shot

Erica Townsend-Whitfield, 22 KILLEEN    Shot at work

Abigail Winters, 37 LIVE OAK   shot

Kathy Ryder Chapple, 57 SAN ANTONIO   shot

Chrystal Espinosa, 29 SAN ANTONIO   stabbed

Shannon Gomez, 30 SAN ANTONIO   stabbed.  she had received 3 protective orders

Lori Ortiz, 33 SAN ANTONIO   shot

Eliyanis Ricard-Verdecia, 29 SAN ANTONIO   shot

Rose Rodriquez, 45 SAN ANTONIO  shot

Casey Drawert, 42 SAN ANTONIO    shot

Kylie Warren, 26 SAN ANTONIO   shot

Sharon Wilbanks, 58 SAN ANTONIO   shot

Emilee Hurst, 18 SELMA   shot

Lindsey Canada, 28 ALVIN   shot

Ernestina Lara Chaires, 44 PEARLAND   shot

Maricarmen Quiroz-Octaviano, 21 COLLEGE STATION    shot

Donna Zamarron, 19 BROWNSVILLE  stabbed

Maryuri Mendoza, 20 PITTSBURG   severe head trauma by assault

Patricia Garner, 58 RUSK    shot

Karen Bigham, 49 McKINNEY shot

he then shot & killed her twin sister Kathy

Kayley Winburn, 20 McKINNEY   shot

Karen Ann Rolston, 33 MELISSA, Texas  shot

Noshin Chambers, 41 PLANO    shot

Jennifer Spears, 43 PLANO    stabbed

Jessie Bardwell, 27 RICHARDSON assaulted & killed, he buried her body 

Gayle Hendry, 57 NEW BRAUNFELS    shot

Graciela Ceniceros, 26 VAN HORN    stabbed

Dania Riopedre, 22 BALCH SPRINGS    strangled

Areli Brown, 52 CARROLLTON    shot

Marisol Espinosa, 34 DALLAS   killed her & placed her body in a wooded area

Kay Hoffmeister, 71 DALLAS    shot

Darlene Jones, 54 DALLAS    stabbed

Veronica Smith, 30 DALLAS    shot

Nidia Gomez, 34 GRAND PRAIRIE    stabbed

Desiree Morris, 17 GRAND PRAIRIE     shot

Maria Elizabeth Navarro, 32 GRAND PRAIRIE   shot

Florencia Padilla, 20 GRAND PRAIRIE    shot

Elizabeth Adams, 19 IRVING    shot

Charlitha Simon, 30 LANCASTER    shot

Hanan Seid, 26 RICHARDSON    shot

also shot her friend

Jacqueline Vandagriff, 24 GRAPEVINE   killed her, dismembered her & burned her body

Anjanette Harris, 40 LITTLE ELM   stangled her and placed her body in a wooded area

Rhonda Holmes, 51 PILOT POINT   shot

D’Metra Strait, 26 CUERO   shot

Lindsey Baldonado, 31  Odessa, shot

Maria Holguin Flores, 35 EL PASO    shot

Linda Rosales, 67 SOCORRO   shot

Rokiesha Pete, 30 FRESNO   shot

Natalie Altier Srinivasan, 35 KATY    shot

Sofya Ali, 33 RICHMOND   shot

Melissa Lynn Nall Cervantes, 34 LA MARQUE    shot

Gina Oliphant, 54 LA MARQUE    shot

Anne-Christine Johnson, 30 LEAGUE CITY    stabbed

Kirsten Nicole Fritch, 16 TEXAS CITY   stabbed

Kelly Russler, 39 SHERMAN    shot

Alexis Bell, 26 LONGVIEW   shot

Victorria Sam, 28 LONGVIEW  shot

Chala Densey, 34 NAVASOTA   crashed the vehicle & charged with intoxication manslaughter

Monica Gallegos, 28 SEGUIN   stabbed

Wendi Warner, 44 SILSBEE   stabbed

Keyanna Gardiner, 29 BAYTOWN    shot

Elva Gonzalez, 41 BAYTOWN   shot

Amalia Alexander, 32 CONROE   killed her & placed her body in a remote area

Gloria Gardner, 66 HIGHLANDS   shot

Vicki Acker Flanery, 63 HOUSTON   shot

Ada Alfaro, 33 HOUSTON   stabbed

Amanda Arceneaux, 59 HOUSTON    shot

Dina Corpus Cardenas, 38 HOUSTON stabbed

Tina Carter, 38 HOUSTON    shot

Paula Contreras, 39 HOUSTON   shot

Courtney Joyce, 27 HOUSTON   strangled

Lakeisha Lewis, 23 HOUSTON   shot

Karen Perez Marañon, 15 HOUSTON    strangled

Esmeralda Martinez Yañez, 18 HOUSTON   shot

began randomly shooting at people, homes, cars & officers

Jessica Lynn Ramirez, 34 HOUSTON   shot

Sandtrece Latoya Ratliff, 44 HOUSTON   shot

Alma D. Rivera-Melendez, 28 HOUSTON    shot

Becky Schwintz, 60 HOUSTON    shot

Kumba Mariatu Sesay, 32 HOUSTON   assaulted & shot

Elizabeth Stokely, 92 HOUSTON    shot

Also shot her 74 year old daughter & then shot himself--he was 90

Brenae Thompson, 22 HOUSTON   shot

Candice Willis, 21 HOUSTON   assaulted & killed

Elizabeth Ferrell, 29 HUMBLE   strangled

Alice Jeanette Lee, 41 HUMBLE   ran her over with his vehicle

Silvia Munoz Vazquez, 35 HUMBLE   shot

Monique Thompson Philio, 43 HUMBLE   shot

Ashley Anntonette Richardson-Ogunba, 31 KATY    shot

Gina Seale-Simms, 39 KATY    shot

Erin Wright, 39 KYLE   shot

Alicia Scott, 29 LOG CABIN, Tx   shot

Maria Gallegos, 45 EDINBURG   cut her throat

Maria Guadalupe Sobrevilla, 58 EDINBURG     shot

Glenda Wood, 77 MISSION   shot

Yolanda De Anda, 49 WESLACO    shot

Nicole Gonzales, 27 COMMERCE   stabbed

Also stabbed her mother, Vickie Gonzales

Maria Azucena Aguilar-Gomez, 32 FARMERSVILLE   shot

Angelica Jimenez, 34 COMFORT   killed & placed her body in a field

Candace Cormier, 61 KERRVILLE    shot

Latasha Evette Green, 36 CLEVELAND   killed & placed her body in a wooded area

Edith Denise Ayers, 55 SLATON   shot

Natasha Dauzat, 21 BELLMEAD   stabbed & beheaded

Tylene Ann Franklin, 41 CASTROVILLE    shot

Kathy Lujan, 41 MIDLAND  killed & then moved her body 

Jakietha Wilson, 21 CONROE   shot

Liliam Morado, 27 MAGNOLIA   shot

Carolyn Towery, 58 MAGNOLIA   shot

Cheryl Hale, 53 THE WOODLANDS   shot

Frances J. Bonham, 84 WILLIS   shot

Ginger Michelle Rodriguez, 39 DUMAS   strangled

Carina Castellanos, 26 CORPUS CHRISTI    stabbed

Noemi Villarreal, 45 CORPUS CHRISTI  strangled

Kara Marie Willingham, 27 BRIDGE CITY   strangled

Sarah Brewer, 28 SPRINGTOWN   shot

Kristen King, 27 AMARILLO  ran over with his car

Dana Rollins Atkins, 42 AMARILLO strangled

He killed himself by drinking a poisonous chemical

Wanda Vinton, 34 HEARNE, Texas and her daughter age 15 

killed with a deadly weapon before setting fire to her new home

Carol Ann Parks, 52 OVERTON    shot

Heather Bruenig, 29 ARLINGTON   stabbed

Asma Zafar, 33 ARLINGTON   shot

Doris Jean Andrews, 43 AZLE   assaulted

Elizabeth Arellano, 28 FORT WORTH  drowned

Jasmin Elizondo, 20 FORT WORTH   shot

Irma Howard, 50 FORT WORTH   assaulted

Shanna VanDeWege, 36 FORT WORTH   cut her throat

also killed their 3 month-old son

Blanca Vargas, 44 FORT WORTH  shot

Martha Kate Wiant, 38 FORT WORTH  shot

Amy Short, 47 KENNEDALE   shot

Neeta Kharabanda, 58 SOUTHLAKE   shot

Linda Martin, 55 SOUTHLAKE   shot after a mediation session for their impending divorce

Kendra Keppler, 27 ABILENE    shot

Soña Olivia Trucks, 40 ABILENE    shot

Shania Lee Ashbaker, 20 SANDERSON shot

also shot her new boyfriend David Martinez, age 24

Veronica Garza, 35 BROWNFIELD   shot

Melva Sue Bond, 71 TALCO   shot

Patricia Andrews, 61 AUSTIN  shot

LaKeisha Nicole Glass, 39 PFLUGERVILLE    stabbed

Tonia Linscomb, 39 COLMESNEIL  shot

Roxana Menefee, 29 VICTORIA  shot

Cristal White Brown, 52 EL CAMPO   stabbed

Helen Fletcher, 30 WICHITA FALLS shot

Van Chau, 47 ROUND ROCK   shot

Nicole Blahitka, 49 FORT WORTH   shot

A few weeks later, while Henry was being released on bond, he engaged in an altercation with a police officer, who shot and killed him

A reception and facility tour was held afterwards at the Family Shelter to better understand the services offered.  Each year in the United States, over 2 million adults and more than 15 million children are exposed to domestic violence. (Source: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, April 2012)

In the past year, over 70,000 people — primarily women and children — sought services from family violence programs because they did not feel safe in their homes. (Source: Texas Health and Human Services Commission, statistics gathered through the Integrated Tracking System for Sexual Assault/Family Violence Programs in Texas)