TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - The mother of a domestic violence related murder victim is taking her tragedy and hoping to make something positive of it.
"She was not just a news story. She was a living, breathing, caring, kind young lady," April Barbosa said in a speech to family and community members at the Tanque Verde Swap Meet on Saturday. "She was positive and beautiful and so full of happiness and love for the world."
The event was a part of a kickoff fundraiser for a new non-profit Barbosa has formed, Justice for Rosaura, Inc.
Mariachi played to celebrate her her daughter Rosaura, a day after what would have been her 19th birthday. Dozens of members of Tucson's car club community came out to mark the occasion. Rosaura was once a model for many of the car clubs in town, her mother told KOLD.
Many cars sported anti-violence paint and ribbons.
Rosaura was killed in what police believe to be a domestic violence incident back in May of 2018.
KOLD previously reported she was at her boyfriend's Summit Ridge Apartment to break up with him. Her mother hadn't heard from her after dropping Rosaura off, until she arrived to check on her and found her unresponsive.
Tucson Police charged Joshua Hilaire for the crime.
He later surrendered to Tucson Police in connection to her murder.
Rosaura's murder was one of many law enforcement connected to domestic violence in Tucson within the last year.
"As a family we are tired of seeing the murders in the news," Barbosa said, blaming much of the epidemic on a negative attitude and lack of behavioral health help in the community. That's what her nonprofit hopes to combat. "We just decided it's time to stop this way of thinking and way of life - because that way of life killed my daughter."
Thanks to support from those closest to April, Justice for Rosaura, Inc., is in the process of becoming a reality.
"We have an obligation to our community to care for one another," Barbosa explained.
Her hope is to train people by going into high-crime areas and create relationships with those who live and work there.
"With all of your help - we can do this. Make this world a better place one person at a time," an emotional Barbosa called out to the crowd to end her speech.
A round of applause and hugs followed.
Saturday was just the beginning of making sure something like what happened to her daughter, won't happen again.
Barbosa is taking the final steps to filing with the IRS as 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
She has already filed with the state of Arizona. The nonprofit will also set up shop in California and Florida.