A woman, who reportedly mutilated and stabbed her young daughter to death, was struggling not to laugh in her mugshot.
Krystle Villanueva has been charged with capital murder in the death of her 5-year-old daughter, Giovanna Larae Hernandez. The 24-year-old mother could face life in prison or get the death penalty. Villanueva is also being accused of stabbing her father-in-law who tried to stop her from killing her daughter. Villanueva was charged with aggravated assault.
According to the Daily Mail, Eustorgio Arellano-Uresti was in the Villanueva residence in Kyle, a town located 25 minutes from Austin, Texas, when he noticed the 24-year-old mother enter her bedroom with a knife and heard the 5-year-old girl screaming in pain. Arellano-Uresti rushed into the bedroom and tried to wrestle the knife from his daughter-in-law who fought back and stabbed him in the back and forehead. Witnesses said they saw the 58-year-old man leave the house with Villanueva running after him brandishing a shotgun, luckily the gun was not loaded.
Deputies responded to a 911 call of an aggravated assault and dashed to the residence on Willow Terrace in Green Pastures. A source speaking to KXAN, said the 58-year-old man was discovered in the driveway suffering from multiple stab wounds and a 10-inch knife was found in his back pocket. He told police and the SWAT team that he was stabbed by his daughter-in-law and that she was inside the house with a child.
The SWAT team entered the residence and found the 24-year-old woman without any clothes on as she just got out of the shower. Krystle Villanueva was arrested and removed from the house. Her 5-year-old daughter was found dead in a bedroom.
A sheriff said the 24-year-old woman had been living in the house for a week, and described the killing as one of the worst cases he had have ever set his eyes on. He made it known that Krystle had minor issues with law enforcement, but never something of such magnitude.
Eustorgio Arellano-Uresti told police that Villanueva was abusing drugs and alcohol. The Texas mother’s sister corroborated the story, adding that Krystle was admitted into a drug rehab facility in late 2015. According to her, Krystle was being treated for substance abuse, including meth, crack and marijuana. It was there that she also got a diagnosis for ADHD, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
A friend, Sabrine Sifuentez, said Krystle did a 90-day rehab program and was doing well. She said her 24-year-old friend got a job and they all thought her drug days were in the past. Sifuentez revealed that she was shocked that the 5-year-old girl had been killed by her mother. She had nothing but sweet words to say about the little girl.
“She [Villanueva] went to a rehab. She did a 90-day program and she came out good. She was doing good. She had a job. She tried to get help. I don’t know if she just relapsed, or I really can’t say what happened. Giovanna was just a precious little girl. She didn’t have a care in the world. She loved to play tag. She loved a lot of things. I can’t believe she’s gone.”
Another friend, Stacey Carrizales, revealed that she had been close to Villanueva for years and treated her little daughter as a niece. Carrizales described the young girl as happy, always wanting to play. She pointed out that it was not in Krystle’s character to hurt her daughter, but admitted that her struggle with drugs might have finally consumed her.
“That’s not Krystle. That’s not her. It’s not. We’ve known her so well that it’s not her. It’s not her character. She [Villanueva] went through a lot of things and it’s very unfortunate that it went this way, this route.”
Police have declined to say if drugs or alcohol played a part in the grisly murder of Giovanna Larae Hernandez. A police spokesman said toxicology results are expected in four to six weeks. Neighbors were shocked that such a horror could occur in their quiet neighborhood. On her Facebook page profile, the 24-year-old woman ironically talked about improving her life for her daughter’s sake. She is currently being held on a $1.1 million bond.
[Featured Image by Hay’s County Sheriff’s Office]