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Murdered teen's mother starts #JusticeForErin campaign


SAN ANTONIO (CIRCA via KABB) -- #JusticeForErin. That's the name of a new social media campaign about teen dating violence, started by the mother of a Texas teen who was tragically murdered.

Police say Erin Castro was killed by her boyfriend last September on her 19th birthday. She was stabbed and run over on a dark stretch of Camp Bullis Road while her mother listened helplessly over the phone.

Now Erin's mother is going public with her heartache.

"It was September 1st, 2018," Rena Castro remembers. "She was turning 19, and she was glowing that day. She really was very happy."

Hours later, after a night out celebrating with friends, a panic-stricken Erin called her mom.

"She was hysterical," Rena says. "I could barely understand her. I'd never heard her scream like this. It was a gut-wrenching scream."

Erin told her mom she was in the car with her boyfriend Josh and that she'd been stabbed.

"And I pleaded with her,” Rena recalls. “'Get out. Mija, please. Get out."

Arrest paperwork shows Josh Garcia, Erin’s 20-year-old boyfriend, eventually told police what happened next.

"He ran over her once, and then he backed up and ran over her again,” Rena says. “And from his own brother's testimony, then he got out of the car and he kicked her. He just left her like an animal there."

Rena describes this awful night in great detail – along with her daughter's troubled three-year relationship with Josh – on her new Facebook page, Justice For Erin.

"It wasn't enough to say that, 'She was killed.' I had to be raw. Because I wanted them to listen."

Her message to parents is clear.

"Don't think that it can't happen to your child."

In 2016, Josh broke Erin's nose and threw her out of his moving car. He was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to two years probation.

"Probation," Rena says in disbelief. "Probation."

She says to talk to your children about what is and isn't a healthy relationship. Look for the early red flags. The verbal abuse.

"The being overly jealous," she says. "Isolating her from her friends."

Rena says if Erin had to die so that other girls can be saved, then her death was not in vein.

"I want to make a positive out of this terrible thing that happened to her."

Josh Garcia makes his next court appearance on April 1st. Rena says she hasn't seen him since the night of Erin's death, but she'll be there.

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