Mother of murdered teen says she is now “damaged” and will be for the rest of her life

KOLD News 6-6:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 9:48 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Valerie Colonge was choking back tears as she read a letter to a Pima Superior Court judge who was about to sentence the man who killed her daughter, 13-year old-Maribel Gonzalez back in 2014 to prison for the rest of his natural born life.

She said “I miss her so much. That day in June 2014 changed my life forever.”

Following the sentencing, I had a chance to chat with Valerie about her life since he daughter was killed.

“When you lose a child it’s the small things that you miss,” she said. “Their scent or see them sleep when you walk by in the hallway. It’s the little things that you miss.”

And she says she misses her every day.

“I’m not the same anymore, I’m damaged,” she said. “Life isn’t the same anymore when you lose your youngest little girl daughter, life’s not the same. You’re not happy anymore.”

Maribel was Valerie’s youngest, which held a special place for her. When she went missing in 2014, and didn’t come home, she was in a panic, and eight years later, that feeling of panic has never gone away.

But she has found a way to cope.

“She’s a hero you know, because she helped stop this from happening to other little girls,” she said. “So she’s Tucson’s’ hero.”