Family members of one Killeen homicide victim are determined to make sure that their loved one doesn’t just become another statistic.
Carolyn Rains, Jon Rains, Tammra Foster and Heather Cadena made the three-hour drive from the Houston area to Killeen on Monday to help get the word out about Brandi Jo Cadena, who was shot and killed inside her Bacon Ranch Road apartment Aug. 19.
“She’s loving, hard working and honest,” said Rains, Cadena’s mother. “I know probably everyone says that about their family, but, I mean, she was.”
Officers arrived at the home in the 1100 block of Bacon Ranch Road at 9:45 a.m. Aug. 19 after receiving a 911 call in reference to a gunshot victim.
The call came from a family member, who had moved in with Cadena, but had not been at the house overnight, according to Carolyn Rains.
Upon the officers’ arrival, they found Cadena, who was not breathing, inside a residence suffering from a gunshot wound. She was pronounced dead by Justice of the Peace Claudia Brown at 10:34 a.m.
Killeen police continue to investigate the incident and have not provided further details on possible suspects. No arrests have been announced.
Cadena’s case made her the 13th criminal homicide victim in Killeen in 2017. That’s not how her family wants her to be remembered, though.
She was a mother of two sons, and worked as a security officer. She moved from Houston to Round Rock, then to Killeen to be closer to her children’s father after they broke up.
Though that relationship didn’t work out, she didn’t let that get in the way of raising her two boys, a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old, her family said.
“We want to make sure she’s not just another number,” said Foster, Cadena’s older sister. “Not only, get her story out there, but maybe bring justice to other families. I have to say, knowing that some of these guys are still out there walking the streets, it’s hard.”
One of the last times Carolyn Raines saw her daughter Cadena, the two of them were looking at old photographs. Raines had pulled out a photo of herself from about five or six years ago, and marveled at how she looked before she had any wrinkles.
Cadena told her mother not to worry, that she was becoming old, too.
“I told her ‘Old, you’re kidding me? You’re only going to be 30,” she said. “She never made it.”