Daughter of woman found dead in ditch: 'I hope whoever did it gets what they have coming'

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A day after Samantha Castillo celebrated a bittersweet 21st birthday, she met with ABC13 to talk about her mother she now misses.

"She was always warm-hearted. She was always loving," said Castillo.

Castillo shared pictures of past birthday celebrations. One shows her in pigtails with her mother, Estela Sanchez, in front of a big sheet cake.

Early Saturday morning, the body of 40-year-old Sanchez was found in a ditch on Victoria Street in east Harris County. Harris County Sheriff's Office homicide investigators said she had trauma to her face. They have made no arrests.

"It's hard. It hurt, regardless of the time I didn't talk to her, that was my mom, and at one point in my life she was there for me," explained Castillo.

She and her mother had been estranged for years. Regardless, Castillo was the first one notified of her mother's death.

"There's always a reason, and I never hold it against her, and I understand we always have things going on in life," she said.

Sanchez had a close group of old friends who contacted ABC13 to let people know she was loved. Among them was Vanessa Villarreal. They had known each other for 30 years.

"She would go and take care of my grandfather for me and my grandfather just adored her Everybody she got around, they just felt her energy," said Villarreal. "She would not have anything and she would give you what she had."

Now, both the daughter and friend want justice. Investigators believe Sanchez was murdered. Anyone with information is urged to contact the HCSO's Homicide Unit at 713-271-9100 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

"I hope we find who did it. I hope whoever did it, you know, gets what they have coming to them," said Castillo.

Friends have set up a GoFundMe to help Sanchez's family with expenses.

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