TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas - Emily Martinez Villarreal's family will remember her laughing and dancing at Christmas with her brother; smiling and happy.
"She had a very great personality. She was full of life. She loved everyone,” said Kristie Trevino.
On Saturday, Villarreal lost her life in a horrific way. Deputies said her longtime boyfriend Roberto Degollado stabbed her 18 times in the chest and arms in front of two of her children.
One of the teenage boys called 911 and were overheard pleading "Robert I love you, please stop."
They then ran to a neighbor's house frantic, trying to get help.
"He's covered in blood and he's like my mom's boyfriend is stabbing her please help, please help. So I run upstairs, I call 911 and we get the boy inside and then his other brother comes a little bit later and he's like he's still stabbing her, help, help help,” said Carvelia Larroy a neighbor who lives five houses away.
On Sunday, neighbors at Austin’s colony held a blessing at the home and held onto one another weeping for the children who no longer have their mother.
"These kids will never be the same,” said Larroy.
"He was very controlling. Very abusive,” said Trevino. "He took a big part of us away when he killed her."
Trevino said Villarreal was in the process of leaving Degollado. Her sons told deputies that they heard her tell him she did not care for him anymore shortly before the stabbing.
She leaves behind four children and one grandchild.
"For anybody who is in a relationship and there is violence, if you are being hit, abused verbally, mentally physically just leave. You never know what can happen,” said Trevino.