By Melissa Garcia
AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Police are searching for the man who allegedly strangled his girlfriend to death inside an Aurora motel room.
A motel maid found the body of Alexandrea “Ally” Raber, 18, on the bathroom floor of room 139 on Sunday.
Her sister described the heartbreaking loss in an interview with CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.
“Say ‘I love you’ to everybody,” Kylie Starrett said. “Because you don’t know the last time you’re going to be able to.”
Motel records indicate that Raber had checked into the Knights Inn on 6th near I-225 a day before her death with her boyfriend, Arturo Garcia, 20.
Raber’s family said that the two had broken up and that Raber had obtained a restraining order against Garcia during a relationship that was plagued with domestic violence.
The two reportedly re-connected in the weeks before her killing, when Garcia was released from jail on a previous strangulation charge, family members said.
The Eaglecrest High School graduate was getting ready to ship off for the Navy when she decided to give Garcia one last chance, according to Raber’s father.
“Ally being the loving, caring person that she was… pretty much believed that she could change him. There were still some quirks that the system couldn’t fix. And it ended up costing her her life,” said Andy Starrett.
Police have charged Garcia with first-degree murder and are asking for anyone with information on his whereabouts to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).
A background check through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation shows Garcia has a long criminal history. Charges include strangulation, domestic violence, kidnapping and false imprisonment, stalking, violation of a protection order, retaliation, harassment and assault.
Raber’s father pleaded for other parents to take actions when seeing signs of domestic violence in their children’s relationships.
“If you have a child who is experiencing these types of things of who is in an abusive relationship, don’t hesitate to jump in and do what you can,” he said. “You may save a life.”