When friends and family describe Martha Sianez-Hernandez, the first thing they talked about was her singing.
“She had the best voice in the Hispanic community,” said her friend Ernesto Macias. “She loved to sing.”
A community this week is mourning the loss of that voice after Sianez-Hernandez, 32, was found dead in her apartment, the victim of what appears to be domestic violence.
Sianez-Hernandez’s husband, Jose Gallegos, was named as a suspect in her Friday death by police but died later that night in an apparent officer-involved shooting.
Macias said he last saw Sianez-Hernandez for a Halloween party on Oct. 26, while another friend talked with her on Oct. 27. But starting Oct. 28, friends did not hear from her.
Macias said Gallegos told people Sianez-Hernandez was sick and in bed, but Macias said they got suspicious when none of them were allowed to see her.
“On Friday, we were kind of worried,” Macias said.
While police have not yet concluded their investigation, friends and Colorado’s Latina Safehouse were already calling the incident a domestic violence homicide on Facebook.
In the meantime, Macias said Sianez-Hernandez’s two children, one of whom she had with Gallegos, are with Sianez-Hernandez’s family members who came up from Florida. Macias’ wife also started a gofundme account to help cover funeral and other expenses.
Translated from Spanish, the post reads, “Yesterday we learned about a tragedy and we are dismayed … Sadly one of our friends from Denver lost her life in a case of crime of passion leaving two innocent creatures at the mercy of her fate.”
Sianez-Hernandez’s mother, Armida Hernandez, and sister, Janeth Sianez, came up from Florida along with other family members to watch Sianez-Hernandez’s two children, ages 12 and 6, the youngest of whom she shared with Gallegos.
“She was a responsible mom,” Hernandez said through an interpreter. “She was strict, but she loved them.”
Hernandez said her daughter was born in Mexico, but gravitated toward Colorado while the rest of her family went to Florida.
“She loved the weather, she had lots of friends,” Hernandez said. “She loved the outdoors, which is why she lived in Boulder.
Macias said Sianez-Hernandez also went by Monica Sianez with her friends.
“She was a playful girl, very sentimental, a great, great mother,” Macias said. “She was a very good friend, and was always there when someone needed her.”
But Macias said Sianez-Hernandez had recently been depressed and said she was having problems with Gallegos, her husband of five or six years.
“She was sad and she was crying,” Macias said. “She got in a depression, and we tried to help her out, get her involved with motivational speakers and classes and workshops to help raise her self-esteem.”
Both Sianez-Hernandez’s mother and sister said they had also heard about problems with Gallegos.
“She was a strong girl, a fighter,” Hernandez said.
Macias said Sianez-Hernandez never got into specifics about what she was going through.
“Maybe if we had known, we could have maybe done something different to help her,” Macias said.
To help, visit the gofundme page: bit.ly/2NDZAyk
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