PECOS, Texas (Nexstar) – The family of Mariah Garcia says her name will live on forever.
The 14-year-old Pecos teen made a stop at her relative’s house on August 12th on the 900 block of N. Hickory Street. Her family says, Mariah was picking up some cash to go to Dairy Queen, one of her favorite places.
Mariah’s grandmother said Mariah wanted to use that money to pay for her friends, too. They were waiting for her in a car outside.
Details are still limited right now as to what happened after Mariah left the house. But her family says, Mariah’s friends took off in the car, causing Mariah to run after it. Pecos Police say the car hit Mariah. So far, two juveniles have been arrested. The investigation is ongoing.
Mariah died last week in an El Paso hospital.
“I forgive. I forgive,” said Jo Ann Lira, Mariah’s grandmother. “Mariah would have wanted it that way.”
Without Mariah by her side anymore, Jo Ann is starting from the very beginning, remembering the day her granddaughter was born.
“She was a miracle. She was born a pound, thirteen ounces,” Jo Ann said.
It was a miracle, because Mariah’s family says, as a baby, Mariah was never supposed to leave the hospital. But Mariah managed through. Over the next fourteen years, Jo Ann would see her granddaughter grow into someone beautiful, an experience she is so incredibly thankful for.
“I loved it when she’d go, ‘Granny… Whatcha doing?'” Jo Ann mused.
Her grandma says, to really know Mariah, was to love Mariah.
“She was real sensitive. She didn’t judge you either. I don’t care who it was. She never judged you,” Jo Ann said.
Jo Ann recalls the day before Mariah was hit. Mariah paid her a visit to Jo Ann at her home.
“We went over her career path. She wanted to be a model,” Jo Ann said. “You’re beautiful, Mariah. You’re beautiful, that’s it. We got your career path!”
Never have Jo Ann and Mariah said ‘I love you,’ like they did that day.
“She never gave me a hug like that. She just came in here and just held me. I remember, I was mesmerized,” Jo Ann recalled.
But it would be the last time Mariah would see her grandmother.
Mariah’s beauty was in her smile, something that many saw, something her grandmother holds dear to heart.
“For me, I picture her smile. And that makes my day,” Jo Ann said. “Just dance, dance, dance. Dance in the sky, baby.”
The family of Mariah is holding a vigil in honor of her life at Maxey Park in Pecos at 8:30 P.M. on Monday.
Mariah will be buried alongside her father.
For those interested in donating to a GoFundMe started in Mariah’s name, you can visit the fundraiser here. Donations will go toward medical and funeral costs.
Below, you can find the second report that aired at 10 P.M. on August 23rd.