Friends Remember Gainesville Murder Victim - - No One Gets You Closer

Friends Remember Gainesville Murder Victim


GAINESVILLE, TX -- Coworkers stunned by the death of a young pregnant woman washed cars to help pay for her funeral.

Linda Barrett, 22, was found dead at a home on Truelove Street on Friday. Police arrested her boyfriend, Juan Rodriguez Olivas, 30, after finding her body inside his house.

On Tuesday afternoon, Barrett's co-workers at Arby's were accepting donations for Barrett's family. "A young lady who was actually worked hard to change her life, just found out she was pregnant, doing everything right," says coworker Clarence Green.

Barrett recently went to get a pre-natal checkup. Some of those who saw Rodriguez recently say they were concerned about his erratic behavior.

"The way he acted towards her, he didn't really seem all there when he would come to Arby's to see her," says coworker Siomy Hernandez. "She really loved the guy so we couldn't do much about it if she really wanted to be with him."

Barrett's relatives say the loving but troubled relationship began about a year ago, and that she would sometimes leave the house and Rodriguez for a few days, but then she would always go back.

Domestic violence experts say it often takes a woman six or more times of trying before she finally leaves an abusive relationship.

"Most often it's a sense of normalcy," says Abigail's Arms director Kim Cook. "Even though the environment is dysfunctional, it's what's normal. It's what she has."

Abigail's Arms is a group that offers free counseling to women in crisis. Cook says they are building a new ten-bedroom shelter for women and families on Aspen Drive that would be the first of its kind in Cooke County.

"It will be for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and it will be a safehouse so to speak, an emergency facility that will be manned 24 hours a day," says Cook.

Back at the car wash, co-workers took a moment to remember a woman who became a friend to many. "I'll miss her, everybody's going to miss her here, and she will always be in our thoughts and prayers," says Hernandez.

Rodriguez faces a murder charge and remains in the Cooke County Jail while awaiting trial. His bond was set at $1 million.

Victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact local agencies that may be able to help. In Cooke County, victims can call Abigail's Arms at 940-665-2873. In the Grayson County area, the Women's Shelter hotline is 1-800-259-3903.