Mother of woman killed by retired DPS trooper in Elgin speaks out

Two months after two women were murdered by a retired DPS trooper in Elgin, the mother of one of those women is speaking out.

"It's a hurt that is unexplainable until you actually get through it. No mother should have to bury their child," said Randi Mitchell’s mother, who didn’t want to be identified because of safety concerns.

She says the last two months have been nothing short of gut-wrenching.

"She had a huge heart," said Mitchell’s mother.

Mitchell’s life was cut short at just 27 years old, when she was shot and killed by former DPS trooper Rito Paul Morales.

"She was very loving. She loved animals. She cared for everybody. If she met somebody that she knew was struggling in their life," said Mitchell’s mother. "She kind of clung to those people, and she tried to bring out the best in them."

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Mitchell’s life was cut short at just 27 years old, when she was shot and killed by former DPS trooper Rito Paul Morales.

Along with Mitchell, Paul Morales also fatally shot his wife Kristin at the Elgin home the three shared, on September 17. He was then shot and killed by a deputy. Two days prior, Mitchell’s mother says she got a concerning phone call from her daughter.

"She was worried, and she went and bought a gun, so she would have protection," said Mitchell’s mother. "I think my daughter was convinced that she could handle whatever came her way, and I don't think she was expecting this."


Mitchell’s mother says her daughter and Kirstin were trying to get way from Paul, had bought a car together and were looking for a place to live—hoping to escape from a reality of abuse and fear.

"She was a little bit fearful. I know the cops had been called, I think, four different times. And they made the statement that if they called again, that they would arrest him," said Mitchell’s mother.

I asked her if she got the sense that her daughter was failed by the system.

"Yes. I feel like that maybe if they had been a little stricter and taken them serious, more serious, this last incident wouldn't have happened," said Mitchell’s mother.

She was finally allowed to return to the home earlier this month to get her daughter’s belongings. That experience led to even more trauma.

"We ended up with a lot of his belongings. And that set off another trigger of emotions because we sure didn't want his belongings. So that was tough," said Mitchell’s mother.

She says her church congregation has been a huge support to her as she works through her grief.

"Lots of praying. I do lots of praying. I wake up in the middle of the night. I think it really didn't happen. But I soon figure out that it really did. You know, reality sets in, and I just have to kind of pickup the pieces and move forward," she said.

Mitchell’s mother urges other women who may be in an abusive relationship to do whatever it takes to get out of the situation—before it’s too late.

If you are in an abusive relationship and need help, you can contact the SAFE Alliance by visiting, call 512-267-SAFE (7233) or text 737-888-SAFE (7233). Also, the Texas Council on Family Violence connects survivors with local agencies that can provide help. For more information, visit