The Travis County Sheriff's Office is trying to piece together what led to the stabbing death of a woman early Saturday morning. Neighbors of 36-year-old Emily Martinez Villarreal held each other tightly Sunday afternoon still shaken up by the tragedy that unfolded the day before.
"His little brother was crying and saying 'go go go he's still stabbing her!" said Nicholai Reyes, a close friend of Villarreal's oldest son.
"I knew that she did not make it I saw the ambulance drive by and knew," said Carvelia Larroy a neighbor who lives five houses away.
Deputies were called out to a home in far east Travis County after they said a juvenile called for help. They said when they arrived they found Villarreal stabbed 18 times in the chest and arms.
"And then his other brother comes later and says he's still stabbing her help help help!" said Larroy.
According to court documents, the victim's teenage son frantically called deputies then ran to a neighbor for help. In the affidavit, the boy called 911 and told the operator his stepdad is 'killing my mother'.
When investigators arrived they found 51-year-old Roberto Degollado covered in blood.
Authorities are now charging him with murder.
On Saturday afternoon they gathered for a makeshift candlelight prayer vigil.
Sunday, neighbors continued to stop by the home to pay their respects. "We gave her a final blessing at her home and it was nice that everybody came out and show support," said Laura Ledesma.
Neighbors FOX 7 spoke with said they didn't see the tragedy coming.
"I never thought of anything like that would ever be going on," said Larroy.
"Nobody really saw her we rarely saw her. It was none of my business but my heart felt for her every day that I saw her boys my heart felt for her," said Ledesma.
They said had they known that Villarreal and her sons were in danger, they would have stepped in to help prevent two young boys from growing up motherless. "We didn't step in because we didn't know had we known we would have given her and those boys more protection," said Ledesma.