Vigil held in Hallsburg for double homicide victims

Posted at 9:49 PM, Nov 12, 2017
and last updated 2019-04-02 11:38:12-04

Family, friends and strangers leaned on one another during a vigil for the double homicide victims who were killed last weekend. 

Valarie Martinez and her 1-year-old daughter, Azariah, were found gunned down at Tradinghouse Creek Reservoir Park #3 on Nov. 5.

Nearly 100 people gathered at the site to honor the duo who touched the hearts of many. 

"They were both very sweet, lovable, out of this world kind of people," said Cassandra Slaby, Martinez's friend who organized the event. "Az was very blessed to have Valarie as her mom."

Martinez's favorite songs were played over speakers as loved ones shared their favorite memories together. Attendees also wrote down messages on balloons that were released into the sky before lighting candles in their memory. 

"I like to think that they'll get to see every message that we write on them," said Slaby.

All to remind the angels, who were called home too soon, that their light will shine on forever.

"There is a lot of people who didn't know them and I am thankful for them showing up," said Slaby. "It shows the family and us that she was very much loved."

Slaby plans to do a balloon release every year to remember Martinez and her baby. She'll also be setting up a GoFundMe for a plaque that can be placed at the park in her honor. 

Officials with the McLennan County Sheriff's Office, including Sheriff Parnell McNamara, also attended the vigil.

MCSO arrested Martinez's accused killer, Chris Weiss, on Nov. 7. He's now sitting in the McLennan County Jail. 

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