It was a heartbreaking day for family and friends of a woman murdered last week in Northeast Austin.
They laid her to rest Wednesday afternoon, inviting FOX 7 as they fight for justice.
Music filled the air while prayers filled their hearts, but words cannot describe the pain felt by family and friends at the funeral of 38-year-old Maria Ferrer-Mena. Her mother is devastated by the sudden death.
"Every day I say a prayer for each one of my daughters. I have seven but now I'm missing one," says Paula Mena-Palma, Maria's mother.
The service was held on a hot Wednesday afternoon, where family and friends spent final moments saying their goodbyes. They all leaned on each other for strength and comfort, trying to remember better times.
"She had a really big obsession with porcelain dolls. At her house she built shelves and had porcelain dolls hanging everywhere. They were really scary for me but they were her kids. She had three boys and she always wanted a daughter. Since I lived with her, I was in a way her daughter for that time," says Osmara Ibarra, Maria's niece.
It was last Monday when Maria was shot and killed in front of her door at Mueller Place Apartments. The suspect has been on the run since then, which has left the community concerned for their safety. Their biggest hope is for justice.
"We leave it in God's hands. Lord our God will bring justice," says Maria's mother.
"The thing that we're hoping for is that he doesn't cause any more damage to any other homes or any other families," says Maria's niece.
Family and friends were left in a tough financial situation when it came to funeral expenses but they have spent the past week raising the money. They wanted to honor Maria the best way they knew how. "It was the best smile that everybody would see. Her laugh, it's just a laugh that everybody will remember," says Maria's niece.
Her legacy will live on through pictures and memories.
The suspect is described as an Hispanic male, 5'8 to 6'0 feet and skinny build.
He was last seen wearing a grey-hooded sweatshirt and black basketball shorts.
If you would like to help the family with funeral expenses, click here.