Naiya Villegas

Naiya Villegas

LTWH family member, Shaydee Watson, brought this case to my attention after it occurred in her home town.  It’s exceptionally hard when these tragedies happen quite literally in our own back yards – so thank you Shaydee for sharing.

Naiya Villegas

Naiya Villegas

Naiya Villegas was a beautiful little 5 year old girl.  She lived happily in a San Angelo, Texas home with her mother, Tanya Bermea.  Tanya’s ex-boyfriend, Isidro Miguel De La Cruz, broke into the home through a back bathroom window very early Tuesday, the morning of September 2, and refused to leave the home when confronted by Tanya.  Tanya then left the home to call her mother, Jesusita Bermea, who arrived quickly.  When they attempted to go back in the home, De La Cruz refused to let them in.  Little Naiya remained inside the home with her soon to be murderer.

TIME OUT – I don’t have all the details, and I don’t know the family, but I am very confused as to how Tanya could leave her daughter alone in the home with this man who clearly did not have good intentions.  What she did next concerns me more, and again while I am not condemning Tanya, I am seriously questioning how a parent could leave their child alone in a home with someone like this.  I know I would never be able to leave my boys – they would be the first ones I would get out of the home.

Isidro Miguel De La Cruz

Isidro Miguel De La Cruz

Tanya left and drove to De La Cruz’s mother’s home in hopes of getting help to make De La Cruz leave her home.  By the time she returned, De La Cruz had sliced Naiya’s throat, the little girl never stood a chance.  When Tanya entered her home, De La Cruz punched her several times, pushing her out onto the sidewalk where he then proceeded to choke her.  When police arrived at the home, they saw De La Cruz re-entering the home and Tanya in the front yard.

Officer Marcus Rodriguez entered the home and was horrified to find a gruesome sight, Naiya laying on the living room floor with De La Cruz holding paper towels to her throat.  The home was covered with blood on the walls, blinds, floor, kitchen and in Naiya’s bedroom.  Police quickly found the knife used to murder the little girl underneath a vehicle parked at the home, an area which was also covered in blood.  De La Cruz was taken into custody and charged with capital murder, a charge that carries a punishment of life without parole or the death penalty.  De La Cruz is being held on a bond of $1 million.

Naiya Villegas Crime Scene

Naiya Villegas Crime Scene

Tanya and Jesusita were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.  Naiya, also taken to the hospital, passed away an hour after the first call was placed to 911, reporting alleged domestic violence.  There was nothing emergency doctors could do to save her life.  San Angelo Police Chief Tim Vasquez stated that this was the most horrific homicide he has ever seen involving a child.

Vigil held for Naiya Villegas.

Vigil held for Naiya Villegas.

On Friday, the Tom Green County Coalition of Violence held a candlelight vigil for Naiya on the court house lawn.  Hundreds of community members attended the vigil in honor of Naiya and in support of her family.  The family sat before the steps of the court house wearing purple shirts with Naiya’s sweet face on them.  As speakers began to address the attendees, the family silently sobbed, overcome with grief and the shock of losing Naiya far before her time.  President of the Coalition of Violence, Crystal Ward, was the first to speak.  Sharing statistics on the reality of violence within the community and she made a plea for the citizens to come together and stop the cycle of violence, to make changes to protect our children, our families and our homes.

Vigil held for Naiya Villegas.

Vigil held for Naiya Villegas.

Next to speak was Karen Schmeltekopf, a bereavement counselor at the Hospice.  She asked the community to “Continue walking with Naiya’s family.  Not just tonight, but in the days, months and years to come.”  As sad as I am to say this, I do have a sentiment that I like to think of most in times like this, and Schmeltekopf shared it with the family.  “There’s an old saying, it’s darkest before the dawn.  And it feels pretty dark right now.  But here’s the good news, neither violence nor death has the last word.  A law of physics is that matter and energy can never be lost.  So whenever a life ceases to exist, it stops existing only in that form.  That means that Naiya’s energy is still with us, only in a different form.”

Vigil held for Naiya Villegas.

Vigil held for Naiya Villegas.

As candles were lit and purple ribbons were handed out, speakers continued to address the crowd, mourners filed past the court house steps, leaving behind small gifts, flowers and candles for Naiya.  Naiya’s family wore pink and black ribbons, Naiya’s favorite colors.  Another speaker came forward, Naiya’s pastor, Richard Patrick.  He recalled the last time he saw Naiya, saying that the Sunday before her death, he had seen her and her grandmother approaching the church.  He stood in front of the door and asked Naiya what the password was to get in – “Jesus” he whispered to the little girl.  “Little did I know that 24 hours later she would be stepping into eternity, standing before the throne of God, being asked that same question … What’s the password to get in Naiya?”

Anyone who wishes to make donations for funeral expenses can do so at the GoFundMe page created for the little girl by family friends.  Any remaining funds after the funeral expenses are paid, will go to Tanya.


Naiya’s funeral has not been set for a date yet, but we will be watching this closely and provide everyone with the information and updates as they come in.  Thank you so much Shaydee for sharing Naiya’s story with us, you are yet another angel advocate honoring the short life of a precious little girl.



05.14.2009 – 09.02.2014

UPDATE 09.10.2014

 Naiya’s funeral was held yesterday, laying this beautiful girl to rest amidst the pain and anguish of those who knew her.

Naiya Villegas

Naiya Villegas

Naiya, also known as Gigi to her family, was the typical active 5 year old girl.  She loved Disney movies, especially Frozen and Brave.  A creative little girl, you could often find her coloring, playing the guitar and singing.  This was Naiya’s first year of school, having just started Kindergarten at Alta Loma Elementary School.  Naiya was excited for school and with her beautiful, smart and talkative personality, she was a joy to have in the classroom.  At home, Naiya enjoyed cooking with her Mom and spending time with her siblings and cousins.  Naiya shared an exceptionally close relationship with her grandparents, Lito and Lita, and often enjoyed accompanying them to church.

Included in Naiya’s obituary was the following,


Fly, fly little wing,

Fly beyond imagining.

The softest cloud, the whitest dove,

Upon the wind of heaven’s love.

Past the planets and the stars,

Leave this lonely world of ours.

Escape the sorrow and the pain,

And fly, fly again.

Fly, fly precious one,

Your endless journey has begun.

Take your gentle happiness,

Far too beautiful for this.

Cross over to the other shore,

There is peace forever more.

But hold this memory bittersweet,

Until again we finally meet.

Fly, fly do not fear,

Don’t waste a breath, don’t shed a tear.

Your heart is pure, your soul is free,

Be on your way, don’t wait for me.

Above the universe you’ll climb,

On beyond the hands of time.

The moon will rise, the sun will set,

But I won’t forget.

Fly, fly little wing,

Fly where only angels sing.

Fly away, the time is right,

Do now, find the light.


Rest in peace baby girl.  We will forever remember your love and joy, and we will find you justice.  Fly high baby.

Shaydee – once again, thank you so much for bringing Naiya into our lives.


~ by LTWH on September 7, 2014.


  1. Another tragic story of the mother’s live in dildo with a heartbeat taking priority over her babies. What the Hell is wrong with these young teenage/early 20s mothers?!
    As my mother always said to her man/husband, “They(my younger siblings&myself) came out of my body. They spent 10 months inside of me. I’m the ONLY person who will UNHESITANTLY give my life for theirs or KILL YOU!!! Touch them and you damn sure ain’t leaving this house alive!”
    A mother who thinks it is more important to be in a relationship than to protect something she brought into this world does NOT deserve to be called a mother.

    • Your comment is just another dumbass with an opinion that knows nothing of the situation so judge yourself idiot.
      She wasnt in a relationship with him at the time and its none of your business anyways…He murdered her little angel in cold blood after breaking into their home.I hope he gets whats coming to him..thats all I am going to say except…people should keep their fool mouths shut if they dont have anything nice to say.

      • So, if he “broke into their home” and “murdered her little angel,” how do you explain her participation in her son’s murder? Obviously, you know the “person” (and I use the term loosely) and you’re close to the situation. Since you feel compelled to defend her, why don’t you go a step further and explain to everyone exactly what Mom of the Year did to save her kids?

      • Crap….I’m sorry, Sheila. I thought I was commenting on the Scotty McMillan case. I haven’t even looked at the one you commented on so please disregard my post with my apologies.

  2. This is a horrible case! As for the mother, none of us knows what actually occurred, nor do we have the right to judge her actions. Maybe she thought her own presence would further antagonize this psycho. It sounds to me like she did what she felt would be best and none of us should judge her. She’s carrying this for the rest of her life and she’ll beat herself up forever. We never know how we’re going to react to a situation until we’re in it.

    • Wow I am glad you realised it was the wrong post and hopefully Sheila will understand as mistakes do happen.
      I think the mother fled quickly to phone police ASAP without realising he was going to kill the child, I think she did that to try and save precious time but back fired on her, none of us can judge her actions.
      Perhaps he wouldn’t let her physically get to her child and the only the only way she thought she could help is running out and phoning 911, but she I personally think this is what happened, she wasn’t being selfish but she was being selfless trying to appease him in order to save the child while phoning for help.
      Poem made me cry.

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