‘I love her so much’: Daughters of slain Big Spring woman say their mother’s murder could have been prevented

Local News

BIG SPRING, Texas (Nexstar) – Maria Soto took care of others. It was a motherly love that she had.

Of course, Maria loved her two daughters the most. But on Wednesday, the 46-year-old was found dead on the 1100 block of Lloyd Avenue in Big Spring. Police say Maria was murdered.

Now, Maria’s daughters are anguished and haunted by the thought that their mother’s killing could have been prevented.

“We’re more angry that he did it,” said Chelsea Fernandez.

“Everything was on Facebook, in black and white,” said Krystal Fernandez.

Chelsea and Krystal are referring to the actions of the alleged killer, 49-year-old Luis Hernandez Jr.

Big Spring Police took Luis Hernandez Jr. into custody Thursday night and have charged him with murder in the death of Maria Soto.

Maria’s daughters say their mom had ended a relationship with the suspect about a month before. But, they say Hernandez Jr. couldn’t understand that she no longer wanted to be with him. Chelsea and Krystal say the suspect would call and text Maria. But Maria had moved on.

“We told police. She went to file charges, she filed charges. She showed them everything, but they were saying they couldn’t do anything,” Chelsea said. “He threatened her on Facebook.”

“If you look on his Facebook, it’s there in black and white,” Krystal said.

There’s an immense frustration about why nothing was done before Maria’s killing. Her daughters say Maria even sought the help of police to stop the suspect from bothering her.

“The cops didn’t do anything,” Chelsea said.

“There’s people here who would say they’d see him drive up and down the street at all times of the day, stalking her and stuff,” Krystal said. “Everything was there.”

It’s since been a couple of days since Maria was murdered.

Chelsea’s boyfriend Donald Barber found her early Wednesday.

“I was surprised the door was unlocked,” Barber said. “I opened the door and I found her.”

He says Maria was supposed to pick him up from work late Tuesday night, but never showed up.

Donald went on to say that “it feels like nothing actually gets done until someone is killed or hurt.”

Now Maria’s daughters are recalling those precious moments spent with their mom.

“I’d lay down with her sometimes… She’d stroke my hair and hold me,” Chelsea said. “That’s what I miss the most.”

Even the moments that kids hate – the nagging from their parents.

“I miss her yelling at me,” Chelsea jokes.

It was in Maria’s nature to share her motherly love. She did it with a smile on her face.

If there’s something to remember Maria by, her daughters say it’s this:

“Her hair and her laugh. Her laugh, she had like a loud laugh. Everyone that knows her knows she was always joking around.”

Krystal moved away from home in Big Spring to Wisconsin where she had been living for the past two years.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry I haven’t talked to her for some time. I haven’t seen her in two years. She wanted grandbabies and we didn’t get to give her grandbabies,” Krystal said.

“I miss her and I love her so much,” Chelsea added.

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