Grieving parents of murdered 19-year-old can't get access to daughter's belongings

Brooke Taylor Image
Tuesday, July 12, 2022
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The parents of a woman who was found dead said they are fighting to get their daughter's belongings from the storage unit they're stored in but the facility is not being cooperative.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- The parents of a 19-year-old girl found shot to death in the trunk of her boyfriend's car in a wooded area in Roman Forest on June 5 are speaking exclusively out for the first time.

"They said they found her in the trunk and zip ties on her wrist," Gloria Soukup, Magen Madison Leach's mother, said.

Investigators with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office said Leach was killed by her boyfriend, 20-year-old Manuel Fuentes, before he took his own life. His body was found nearby.

Gloria Soukup had filed a missing person's report once her daughter stopped answering her texts, two weeks before she was found.

"I got up early and I looked at my phone, and her and I, since she was born, I always told her I love her to the moon and back," Gloria Soukup said. "That was our thing we always texted each other."

The text was sent late, which she believed was unusual. The next morning her daughter tried to call, but no one was on the other line. Gloria Soukup said she kept calling her back but it went straight to voicemail.

"I knew then, that something was wrong," Gloria Soukup said.

Soon, her worst fears would be confirmed when investigators showed up at their house.

Leach moved out of her parents' home days before she went missing and was trying to find an apartment with her boyfriend.

Gloria Soukup said she helped move her daughter's belongings into a storage unit at Public Storage on Northpark Drive in Kingwood.

"Everything she owned," she said. "There are things she worked so hard for, to make her first apartment that we went shopping for. The main thing to me, she has journals, and her birth certificate in there. Really, everything that means something to her, and of course, it means something to me. I gave her her baby clothes. Her last box she took out. The baby clothes I brought her home in in case she ever had a child. I saved them all these years to give to her the day she moved out."

Now, Gloria and Jim Soukup said they can't get access to their daughter's storage unit because it was under her boyfriend's name. They added that the storage facility has not been cooperative.

"I explained to them she is no longer with us, and it's like it didn't make a difference," she said.

ABC13 has reached out to corporate headquarters for Public Storage but we have not heard back. We have reached out to the county attorney's office and a spokesperson said, unfortunately, the family would have to bring the case to civil court. However, the grieving parents cannot get an attorney to call them back.

"We have tried to call multiple attorneys," Jim Soukup said. "We have not been able to get anybody. I even went to the county clerk's library, they said we can get assistance there if I just filed it myself. All they did was bring me five big books and said read these and fill out the paperwork and if you get one thing wrong, it will get thrown out of court and you will have to start over. We are struggling to even get an attorney to call us back."

The two were even forced to pay the storage bill after learning it was not being paid and their daughter's belongings could be auctioned off.

"The family let the rent go," Jim Soukup said. "Had I not gone down there and questioned, I end up paying the rent on the storage facility."

They described their daughter as independent, loving, and caring with a bright future ahead of her.

"She had so much going for her, she had dreams," Gloria Soukup said. "In her last Mother's Day card she even writes she wants to shine and find her place in this world."

Gloria Soukup recalled a story that she said sums her daughter up.

"To put it in a nutshell, when she got her first paycheck, her and I were going shopping and she saw a gentleman with a dog asking for money and she made me go into a pet store and she bought a bag of dog food and met him on the corner, gave him money and dog food," Gloria Soukup recalled.

These two parents said they have been through enough and they just want to get back what's left of their daughter.

"She didn't ask for this to happen," Jim Soukup said. "We've lost a daughter. The family let the storage go. We feel like we are being punished that she's dead."

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