Pictures of happier days only seem to bring grief to the Cuevas family now.
“I love my mom no matter what,” said Tabitha Cuevas, daughter of Mary Cuevas-Garcia, while scrolling through old photos of her mother.
“When I see these images, all I can think is that she’s still my mom.”
It’s been nearly a week since 58-year old Cuevas-Garcia’s dismembered body was found in a suitcase placed in a dumpster.
Since then, investigators have arrested 36-year old Anthony Cuevas, the victim’s own son, on a first degree murder charge. Today, the victim and suspect’s family spoke with KRDO.
The family wants people to know that Mary Cuevas-Garcia was so much more than how she was found. She was bold, outspoken and had a smile that could brighten a room.
“She was determined, and she was always right,” said Tabitha. “Her smile was just so beautiful, she wasn’t perfect and didn’t care. She just loved to live her life.”
Much of the family was watching the football game at their home in Monte Vista when they first saw the infamous security camera footage. Police believe the footage shows Cuevas driving up to a dumpster in his mother’s 2018 Nissan Versa and dumping a suitcase with her remains inside.
The family immediately recognized the car as Mary’s. However, it was the images of the victim’s clown tattoo that confirmed their suspicions.
“We were in such shock,” said Destia Rane Hamilton, Mary’s granddaughter. “We knew my uncle and grandma had fights, but we never knew he would go this far.”
Hamilton said she was in Colorado Springs when she first saw the images on the news and immediately called police.
Despite the two previously getting into fights, Hamilton says her grandmother would speak very highly of Anthony, even while he was in prison.
“She spoke of him like he was a king,” said Hamilton.
KRDO spoke with the family in Monte Vista where they still have strong roots. Cousins, nieces, nephews, sons and daughters all have fond memories of both Mary and Anthony growing up in the small Colorado town west of Alamosa.
The family says Mary moved to Pueblo about seven years ago, in part, to help Anthony escape a darker past. He dealt with drug issues for much of his life.
When it comes to Anthony, the family is searching for a path of forgiveness, believing that’s what Mary would want them to do.
When asked to relay a message to Anthony, who is currently sitting in the Pueblo County Jail, his sister Tabitha had this to say:
“I love you, and I just want to know: Why?”
The family says they hope to hold funeral arrangements for Mary some time next month.
KRDO Only 2019