LUBBOCK, Texas — On Thursday, a Lubbock family held a memorial following the death of their baby girl, Marion Montoya, one year later.
“Just trying to understand why what happened, happened,” Sheilah Montoya, Marion’s grandmother said.
Marion’s family and members of the community gathered at 130th and Upland Avenue for the service, the same place police said she was found unresponsive on January 8, 2020.
The memorial featured singing Marion’s favorite songs, a shelf with her toys, pictures, and a balloon release.
“I think she should have had a long and beautiful life with us,” Emilio Montoya, Marion’s father said.
Court records show 28-year-old Trevor Rowe was the boyfriend of the baby’s mother at the time. An arrest warrant states he took Marion to his job site at 130th and Upland, and left her inside a backpack in the floorboard of his car. When he came back just before 5:00 p.m., she was unresponsive, and Rowe called 911.
“I can tell you everything that happened down to the minute detail,” Emilio said.
Rowe was charged with Capital Murder as a result of her death, and still awaits trial.
“Today, everything still hurts,” Emilio said.
Marion’s family said they are demanding justice.
“In this case, justice to me is life in prison for Trevor. Not the death penalty, but life in prison,” Sheilah said.
Sheilah added they plan to support other families who have also lost children as a result of abuse.
“If you have something that you think is a sign of abuse or neglect, report it,” Sheilah said.
After a year, her family said it has not gotten any easier, and they think of her every day. Sheilah said they will continue to keep her story alive, and hopes the community will join their fight.
“If every year we have to do a memorial to keep her memory going, that’s what we’re going to do because she deserves that,” Sheilah said.