GARDNER, Mass. — Through tears and hugs, the family of Migdalia Perez held a vigil Wednesday evening in Gardner outside the building where she was killed.
They lit candles trying to come to grips with her death at the hands of her estranged boyfriend Jose Munez Bodillo in an apparent murder-suicide this weekend.
“I mean she was crying out for help for weeks. nobody would listen to her,” said her son-in-law, Joe Nesta.
Some 50 people prayed and held signs demanding justice including her co-worker Vanessa Wassaff.
“I hope so, I really hope so, that some type of justice will come through,” said Wassaff.
Wassaff says Perez was always smiling.
“She was our co-worker and our friend,” said Wassaff. “She was always happy. She was also like a mom to us.”
Perez was granted an emergency restraining order in July but her family says she was running scared constantly calling her social worker for help.
“For two weeks she was calling her,” said Nesta. “She never got a callback. Every time she called they told her she was busy.”
Last Thursday her request to make that restraining order permanent was denied by a judge. Two days later Perez was dead. Nesta says he’s outraged.
“In this day and age how do you deny a woman a restraining order?” said Nesta. “Especially a woman so scared she was hiding.”
Tonight, her family grieves her loss knowing her cries for help went unheeded but they hope her tragic death might save someone else’s life.
“Someone’s got to be held responsible,” said Nesta. “Who knows if he would have found her if she did have the restraining order but it just made it that much easier.”
Perez family says her funeral services are planned for this coming Friday.