20-year-old shot and killed in Cypress was still grieving death of mother, family says

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The family of the 20-year-old shot and killed in Cypress over the weekend says the tragedy still doesn't feel real and is begging the public for help in finding the suspect.

According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, Julie De La Garza was shot in the head by her ex-boyfriend, 21-year-old Mann Austin Hayes, while she was riding with her current boyfriend.

Hayes has been on the run ever since.

READ MORE: 21-year-old accused of following his ex-girlfriend and killing her on the run

The family of De La Garza tells Eyewitness News she was still grieving the loss of her mother, who died of cancer when De La Garza was just 18.

"Just Saturday, [my sister] was telling me that Julie was still feeling lost without her mom," said De La Garza's sister, Christy Castro.

The family has since created a GoFundMe account to help with funeral expenses.

"Despite all of the challenges she had to face from losing her mother ... Julie maintained a strong and positive outlook on life," said her family. "Our sister has left a huge loss in the lives of all whom she knew, she will be missed dearly."

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Hayes is charged with murder.

Anyone with information on him is urged to contact the HCSO Homicide Unit at 713-274-9100 or CrimeStoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).

GET HELP: If you need help getting out of a domestic violence situation, call the Houston Area Women's Center 24/7 hotline at 713-528-2121 or call AVDA at 713-224-9911. You can also chat with an advocate online. If you are deaf or hard of hearing and need help, call 713-528-3625.
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