PINE BLUFF, Ark. — Jefferson County parents are pushing through their pain, days after losing their daughter in a domestic violence shooting.
Looking at old family pictures, Wendy and Christopher Gates try to focus on memories of better days, instead of their daughter’s violent death.
“There’s no words to describe the pain of losing your child,“ Wendy said. “That’s my angel, she was my everything. I’m scared I’m going to forget how her hair feels on my face when she kisses me.“
The Gates are trying to use their loss to help other victims of domestic violence.
“I go to bed crying every night, nightmares hearing her on the phone,“ Wendy added.
It’s been less than a week since Jefferson County Sheriff’s investigators found Hannah Roberts’ body along Boys Training School Road. Investigators say the 21-year-old was shot during a domestic fight with her daughter’s father.
“I just hate that we lost her like we did,“ Wendy said.
Deputies are calling Arnold Martinez the suspect and say he was also shot in the fight. During a search of the 34-year-old’s car, investigators say they found several drugs and a gun, which Martinez was arrested and charged for.
Martinez hasn’t been charged in the murder, with the sheriff’s office saying that part of the investigation isn’t over.
“Leave all the bad out. She should be able to have a happy life like she deserves,“ said Christopher, referring to Hannah and Martinez’s 4-month-old daughter.
The Gates say they’re raising their granddaughter, who still hasn’t been released from the hospital after being born prematurely.
While the Gates prepare to bring their granddaughter home, they know it’s a moment Hannah would have cherished.
“I’m going to fight for her just like I fought for her from birth,“ Christopher said.
The family hopes sharing Hannah’s story will help other victims realize there are resources to help them get out of dangerous relationships.
“She [Hannah] may have lost her life to domestic violence, but my grandbaby is a survivor,“ Wendy added.
Instead of flowers the family is asking for donations to CASA Women’s Shelter in Pine Bluff. Donations can also be made to the International Order of Rainbow Girls, a group Hannah was involved in.
Hannah’s visitation will be Wednesday 5-7 p.m. at Ralph Robinson and Son Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m., Thursday at the Chapel of Ralph Robinson and Son.
The family is asking everyone who attends the visitation and funeral to wear purple, the color of domestic violence awareness.