COLUSA (CBS13) – Friends and family of a Colusa mother who was murdered are coming together to build a women’s shelter in her honor.

Karen Garcia was reported missing last January. Her body was later found in Woodland. Her ex-boyfriend, Salvador Garcia, has been named as a suspect in her murder but remains on the run.

I talked to those heading up the efforts to honor Garcia and how that may fill a huge need in a number of small counties with no women’s shelter.

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“Let’s just make something good come out of it — that’s all we can do right now,” said Tootie Hackett.

Hackett is the kitchen manager at Granzella‘s restaurant in Williams and knew Karen Garcia well. It was at Karen’s funeral when Hackett was a pallbearer that she came up with an idea.

“We were walking, and all the sudden thought I’m not gonna let this get pushed under a rug. It’s not gonna be something that we never think about again,” she said.

Hackett and others, including fellow waitresses at Granzella’s, decided to start a domestic violence program to honor Karen, including building a women’s shelter.

“I want a safe house, I want to educate women, I want to teach them self-defense, I want anything we can offer to prevent this from happening again,” she said.

Hackett’s niece Tiffany Sequeira is spearheading the new foundation.

“We want to make sure that we can bring resources to this community so these girls and women and their children have an outlet,” said Sequeira.

There are currently no women’s shelters in Williams or in the nearby surrounding communities.

“If we could save a woman or young girl that really is our mission,” she said.

Twenty-one-year-old Karen Garcia was reported missing last January, and her body was later found in Woodland parking lot.

Her ex-boyfriend,  22-year-old Salvador Garcia Jr.,  had recently been charged with domestic violence against her and is wanted in her murder.

garcia murder suspect Shelter Being Named For Colusa Woman Allegedly Killed By Ex Boyfriend

Salvador Garcia Jr. is suspected in Karen Garcia’s death.

Her friends say the domestic violence program and Karen’s House shelter is gaining steam, with legal resources,  counselors, and builders willing to donate time to the efforts.

Supporters have no doubts that Karen’s House will come together quickly, saying Williams may be a small town but it has big plans.

“The people know each other. It’s more of a community. In a big town, people don’t even know each other so I think it’s gonna be successful.

The group says one of its first priorities, along with raising money for Karen’s House, is increasing the $5,000 reward to find suspected killer Salvador Garcia Jr.

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