HCSO deputy died alone of COVID-19 after taking retirement trip

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Dlisa Nunez has great memories of her dad growing up. She was the only girl and the oldest.

"One of my favorites is when he taught me how to ride a bike," she recalled.

Hilbert Nunez had a long career with the Harris County Sheriff's Office, working there for 34 years. Once he retired, he traveled a lot.

"That's something that he always talked about, and I'm glad that they got to do it," said Dlisa.

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Dlisa said not long after he returned from a trip overseas, her dad became sick along with three other family members. One of them was hospitalized.

Hilbert also went to the hospital and died weeks later the day before Easter.

No one could visit him.

"I would think about when he was there, did he know he was alone?" wondered Dlisa. "Did he understand what was going on? People just don't understand, until you live it, that this is very serious and very heartbreaking."

If she could tell him one thing, Dlisa's message is simple.

"I would have told him how much I love him, and that I didn't want him to be suffering anymore," she said.

While he will be dearly missed, there was one family member he didn't get to meet: his first great-grandchild.

"His name is Zayne," said Dlisa. "Unfortunately, my dad never got to meet him and he never will."

She's urging people to stay home to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

"This is going to be temporary and when this is over, you'll still have each other if you follow the rules."

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