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Oldest of 3 sisters became their legal guardian after dad allegedly killed mom and disappeared

By Jessica Wiley

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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – In a small apartment in southeast Houston, there is a united front of three sisters approaching the hardest day of the year.

“It’s been four years, but it feels like yesterday, until today,” said Jackie Martinez.

Saturday will mark four years since their mother was killed and their father, who is charged, went on the run.

ABC13 first met Jackie, Daniela and Miranda Martinez in 2019 as Jackie, the oldest, tried to get legal custody of her younger sisters, who have autism. They also learned to live on their own.

“We didn’t have a bed. We had no food. We were all alone in the apartment,” Jackie said.

Years later, while there is more stability, there is also fear that they cannot shake.

“I don’t want to be killed by him,” said 15-year-old Miranda.

When we asked, “Are you worried about that?” she replied, “Yes, I am so worried.”

Miranda was the one who found their mother, Ninfa Griselda Mancillas, in their southeast Houston home on November 26, 2018. That terrible memory often overshadows the good ones.

“I loved staring at her when she put on makeup and when she brushed my hair and hugged and kissed me,” Miranda recalls.

So this November, the sisters want to speak out and draw attention back to their father.

“I want him to be in jail forever,” Miranda said.

Jose Martinez-Espinosa has been on the run since November 2018. Jackie believes his family is helping him. Houston police said he may be in Mexico.

Jackie is now 23 and fighting for justice as a survivor of domestic violence, she says.

“Don’t forget about this. Don’t forget what happened to her. Don’t let this happen to other children,” she said.

She encourages victims to get help so that other siblings are not left alone.

“I wish I could see her one more time. Hug her face just once,” Miranda complained.

Anyone with information on Martinez-Espinosa’s whereabouts is asked to contact Crime Stoppers.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office has a list of resources for victims of domestic violence seeking help. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233).

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