Simple memorial serves as a reminder of tragedy
The seasons have changed from balmy to bitterly crisp since the slaying of pregnant Grand Junction woman Anna Maria Macias.
A modest but touching makeshift memorial for the 23-year-old mother, placed near the entrance of the Garden Village Apartments, is a constant reminder of the violence that played out on residents’ doorsteps one rainy late March evening.
Apartment resident Brandi Cowden tries not to look at the memorial when she’s driving into the parking lot, but she’s aware it’s always there.
“I try not to think about it,” she said. “It’s something bad that happened.”
Cowden said children in the apartment complex often ask about the angel figurines, the crosses and a candle placed near the complex’s entrance at 2601 Belford Ave.
Cowden doesn’t really know what to tell them.
“It’s amazing that somebody could even do that,” she said of Macias’ killer.
Macias’ boyfriend, Lonnie Herrera, 39, is spending life in prison after pleading guilty to shooting Macias in front of two of her children.
Macias’ baby, Maria Elena, was delivered at a hospital but died two days later after being taken off life support.
Those who knew the young mom have intertwined silk flowers into the fence. Black-marker writing on a small wooden cross shows Macias’ date of birth and death, 2-9-85 to 3-31-08, and that of her newborn daughter, Maria Elena, 3-30-08 to 4-1-08.
This story first appeared on GJSentinel.com Wednesday morning as part of “Mobile Junction.”