Tanee Natividad's mother has been through plenty of disappointment in these past 11 years. But she will continue to wait for justice, so that her daughter can rest in peace.
"I just tell her continue to hold me, give me strength, and I can do it. And I can feel her there. And that's why I don't give up, because she's there," Barbara Nunez said, as she described how she still speaks to her daughter, Tanee Natividad, 11 years after she was shot to death at a midtown Jack in the Box on Speedway, November 2001. And Nunez said that Natividad, who was 16 at the time, responds.
"She just has smiles. She smiles and that's all I need to remember is her smile," Nunez said.
Her daughter would be 28 today. The case against her accused killer, Max La Madrid, is that he killed her when he fired into a vehicle that he thought was someone else's. But hung juries have delivered two mistrials.
"First trial, I was surprised. The second time, eleven to one, I'm getting closer. So, it's not time to give up," Nunez said about the recent jury count.
"It's excruciating for the family members," said Homicide Survivors director Carol Gaxiola, who has also been there. Her daughter Jasmin was murdered more than a decade ago.
Nunez has waited for La Madrid to be caught after escaping to Mexico, and now waits for the courts to deliver.
"The hardest thing that I say we have to go through is the waiting. That's the hardest part, because you want some resolution at least along the way. And this piece of it takes so long," Gaxiola said.
"There will be an end to this, at one time. It will come," Nunez said.
Defense attorneys have said in court that La Madrid is the wrong man, that police got the wrong surveillance video, lost and misplaced evidence, and were quick to point the finger at him. The case has a hearing on Monday.
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