Tucson, Arizona (KGUN/KWBA) — The family of an 18-year-old who was killed by her boyfriend last year said they are using her death to help inspire change in the world.
April Barbosa lost her daughter in May of last year.
“She walked this world with a big smile, confidence, and love for humanity and god,” Barbosa said remembering her daughter Rosaura.
Rosaura Barbosa Hernandez would have turned 19-years-old on February 15th, 2019.
Her family and friends gathered at the Tanque Verde swap meet, to celebrate her life, and remember who she was.
“If you knew Rosaura you knew this was her way of life,” Barbosa said. “She loved to help others.”
On May 6, 2018 Rosaura went to the apartment she shared with her boyfriend, Joshua Hilaire.
Her family said she went there to break up with Hilaire after incidents of abuse, but her family says Hilaire killed her before she could make it out.
“We know the man who killed my daughter is the main cause of her death,” Barbosa said. “But as a community we have a need to have more compassion, sympathy, and empathy.”
Rosaura’s family went into the apartment hours later, and found her unresponsive.
Hilaire, who would later be charged with Rosaura’s murder, was nowhere to be found.
The family said neighbors saw Hilaire’s abusive behavior and chose not to tell police.
“There is a mentality out there in our streets. The negative mentality of ‘it’s not business’ and ‘the world is against me,'” Barbosa said.
Now, Rosaura’s family has started a non-profit in their loved one’s honor to help others get out of dangerous situations in time.
“We have an obligation, as humans, to take care of each other,” Barbosa said at the event honoring her daughter’s life.
Their non-profit “Justice for Rosaura, Inc.” aims to send volunteers into high crime neighborhoods to urge people to seek mental health treatment.
“What better way to teach someone to think and live than in their own environment,” Barbosa said.
“Justice for Rosaura, Inc.,” not only operates in Tucson but has branches in California and Florida according to Barbosa.
At last check Joshua Hilaire was in the Pima County jail on $1,000,000 bond.