Patrick Santos’ family described the audio of the horrific last hours of his life.
It was chilling. One minute he was able to record conversations with his father, Sharre, as he played a video of his grandson playing on the floor.
The next minute, they said, Santos was bound at the wrists and ankles. Then he was duct taped to the floor.
Who killed Patrick Santos? Sharre Santos’ sister, Noemi Barrera, said it was his mother, Vanessa. She said Santos was killed in the way she said it happened. She also said when Santos was dying, her mother called him her “son forever” and tried to comfort him.
Vanisha Echeverria, a cousin, said Santos’ mother was involved in drug dealing and said she was the killer. On November 8, she wrote about the incident on Facebook, admitting to killing her son.
“Her heart was too small to express the depth of despair this world had left to her, and all she had left was a few half-hearted lies in the form of apologies to the people she had promised to protect, only to die herself in her sleep. She waited a long time before committing the worst sin of all: to love another human being and then rip him apart,” Echeverria wrote.
Patrick Santos’s death hasn’t sat well with those who knew him. They struggle to understand how his mother could have been involved. Some point to drugs as the motive.
On Thursday, prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty for the child welfare worker charged with his murder. Maria De la Luz Sanchez was charged with capital murder, accused of binding Santos with duct tape before duct taping his mouth, nose and eyes.