MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Family and friends of an 11-year old girl murdered inside her Little Havana home honored her memory Tuesday evening at a special mass.
Many said they felt a sense of relief that the man accused of killing Martha Guzman will remain locked up – at least for now.
After the service, Guzman’s parents said while the arrest of Miguel Ruiz Lobo, 42, will never bring their beloved daughter back, it has allowed them to sleep through the night.
“I remember her always, 24 hours a day. She was my life,” said Martha’s father Jorge Guzman.
For the past month Guzman and Martha’s mother, Amaury Alvarenga, suspected Lobo of the murder, yet he remained free. Now they say he cannot cause them any more pain.
Guzman said his daughter was a cheerleader but had some emotional troubles recently. Still, he said, she mean the world to him.
“She was a beautiful girl. She was my daughter. My life,” said Guzman.
CBS4’s Peter D’Oench asked Guzman, “She’ll be with you forever in spirit?”
“Yes,” said Guzman as tears flowed down his face. “I will always keep my daughter in my mind.”
Lobo and Alvarenga were together for several before she broke it off. The couple had a son together. Guzman said his daughter was brave and didn’t hesitate to tell her mother that she wanted a different life for her – a life without Lobo.
Alvarenga said her daughter wanted her to leave Lobo after five years of verbal abuse and threats. Guzman said they went to file a restraining order against Lobo recently but the judge denied it.
“The judge said no, he’s not dangerous,” said Alvarenga “Well now he’s dangerous, my daughter is dead.”
Court records show Alvarenga appeared at a hearing to overturn the court’s decision two weeks later, but voluntarily dropped the restraining order request.
Alvarenga requested the restraining order in late March after she and Lobo had a scuffle. Alvarenga said Lobo was intoxicated and she worried about his potential for violence.
Her petition said of Lobo, “He threatened the petititioner that he will do anything in his power to rekindle their relationship.” She said Lobo could not accept the fact that their relationship was over.
Family members say Martha’s mother had dated Lobo since Martha was six-years-old and court records show Lobo is the father of Martha’s younger brother.
According to City of Miami Police, a neighbor’s surveillance video showed Lobo entering Guzman’s apartment at approximately 10:28 A.M. on June 22nd, the day of the murder, and leaving the apartment at approximately 11:00 A.M.
No one else entered or exited the residence until Guzman’s mother came home and found her daughter at approximately 2:28 P.M.
Investigators said Lobo broke into the family’s apartment and slit the girls throat, then her wrists, to make it look like a suicide.
Investigators say the security video and DNA evidence link Lobo to the crime.
Alvarenga said in the month after the murder, Lobo texted her son repeatedly about Martha’s death. One text said Martha would be in heaven.
During his initial appearance, Lobo denied he harmed the girl.
“I am innocent,” he told the judge.
Lobo, who is charged with first degree murder and burglary, was ordered held without bond.