LUBBOCK, Texas – Monica Rubio was shot and killed by 25-year-old Isaiah Montelongo back in March, Montelongo was then indicted by a grand jury in early May.
Monica’s family now strives to raise awareness around domestic abuse through what is known as “Monii’s Mission”, a fight to provide domestic abuse education, stricter gun laws and harsher punishment for domestic violence abusers.
Monica’s family says Monica was known for always being outgoing and fashionable, calling her loving, kind and humble but her family recalls a drastic change in Monica’s personality after meeting Montelongo.
“She was really distant from me, very distant. Those were a lot of the changes, she was no longer opening up to me she just kind of kept it really short and simple,” said Yvette Rubio, sister of Monica. Yvette recalls Monica’s demeanor changing, down to the way she dressed. “She could walk into a room and turn everybody’s head and to see her stop doing that, or being like that it kind of just brought some type of questions about ‘why are you being so different?”
Yvette states that Montelongo could have influenced Monica’s self-worth, “One day, she was in the room with me and she’s like, ‘Oh, I’m not so pretty. Am I?’ and I’m like, ‘Whoa, kid, what’s going on with you? That is not you,’ recalls Yvette.
Yvette states that Monica only knew Montelongo for a month, when he then became obsessed with her. Montelongo eventually killed Monica.
“He was probably degrading, putting her down, made her feel like she wasn’t good for nothing,” said Yvette, “that’s where a lot of those thoughts and thinking and questions came in to her was because what he would feed her, you know, so she got to thinking, ‘What is my purpose? What am I doing with my life? Maybe I don’t have a purpose.”
Monica’s family said it only took two weeks after meeting Montelongo for her to show signs of domestic abuse.
“A lot of times, withdrawals are a big red flag, and another red flag would be a sudden personality change, maybe in the way they dress, the way they act,” said Steven Garcia, Coordinator of community education, legal and outreach services with Women’s Protective Services.
Monica’s family hopes that anyone in a similar situation can hear Monica’s story and reach out for help, “I think that she’s looking down on us right now thinking ‘My sister and Cindy did it. They’re gonna make sure that other girls like me don’t have to go through the same situation,” said Lucinda Molina, family friend of Monica.
Molina experienced a similar domestic abuse situation, “I was in a relationship that started out just like Monica’s. Everything was good at first and then before I knew it, his true colors started to show and he would leave me at home and lock me in the house and he would leave for days at a time and when he would come back I would wake up to him punching me.”
Molina now advocates for women in similar situations, “I hope that they would know that there are other people out there that live with this on a daily basis and there are people that you can turn to, and that will help you and will not judge you.”
To donate to Monica’s gofundme you can click here. All proceeds go towards a headstone for Monica’s grave and towards her 6 children.
If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse you can contact the Women’s Protective Services crisis hotline at 1-800-736-6491
The Women’s Protective Services offers services free of charge. You can also head to their website for more information here.