CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Sarah Martinez's family is speaking out following her murder.
According to the family, this was not the first time the suspect in custody, 39-year-old Rodrigo Garza Jr., attacked Martinez, after hitting her in the head with a 2-by-4.
“He had already sent her to the hospital two weeks ago, put her in a coma," said Martinez's aunt Baudilia Flores. "She was in Galveston.”
Martinez was found stabbed to death at the Weber Square Apartments on Oct. 30. Corpus Christi police said Garza called them that night, telling them he had murdered his girlfriend.
That night was not his first run-in with law enforcement. Garza has a criminal background, including an arrest for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in 2019.
Martinez’s sister said Sarah was afraid to speak up about the previous incident, and no charges were pressed. Her sister also said that Garza was stalking Sarah and her daughter.
Flores believes the 33-year-old mother's death was not an accident.
“He premeditated, or he already planned this. He killed her, he murdered her,” she said.
Friday, the family held a lunch fundraiser, selling food to help raise funds.
“Unfortunately her life was taken and we weren’t prepared," said Martinez's aunt Baudilla Flores. "If y’all would like to help us, support us, we would appreciate it."
Martinez’s daughter, Felictty, is calling for justice for her.
“I miss my mom, and I hope she gets justice for what happened, because she didn’t deserve that, and she was a really good person,” Felictty said.
Her family remembers Sarah as a happy person, who brought joy to others.
“She loved her kids, she loved being around her family," said Martinez’s aunt Louisa Gutierrez. "It’s just something that you can’t forget; she’s gone. She would just act silly, come out of nowhere and make everybody laugh and stuff like that. She was never sad or anything, she was always a happy-goer. You couldn’t tell her nothing to bring her down or nothing.”
The family is hoping for $5,000 raised to help with the funeral expenses. To help, send donations to Treviño’s Funeral Home on Niagara St.