Family members say Feilisha Courtney-Barrios' death was as savage as it was unexpected. However, Barrios' father and sister told Local 2 the mother of four was an organ donor and they take some comfort knowing her death means others may have a chance at life.
"They said it could save 100 lives with her body," said Bobby Courtney, Barrios' father. "If it does, that will be a good thing."
Police said Barrios was attacked on July 7 at her Southeast Houston apartment complex on Sloan.
"I've never seen such a crime, I've never even heard of such a crime," said Courtney.
Police said Barrios was attacked by Bardo Bustos, 37. Police said the pair had been dating and living together for the past six months. Investigators do not know what prompted the attack.
"I know him real well, he's such a good guy. I don't get it," said Courtney. "He just walked into the kitchen out of the blue, grabbed a knife and went to work on her."
Barrios' sister, Amanda Courtney, also said she never saw a hint of trouble between the couple.
"I never saw any kind of sign of anger or abusive, nothing," said Amanda Courtney. "He was quiet, never disrespected her."
Police said Barrios' 10-year-old son witnessed the attack and ran to a neighbor's apartment to dial 911.
"It was pure evil because he looked up and said a prayer and went to stab her in the face, I mean stab her in the heart, after he stabbed her in the face so many times," said Ashli Schultz.
Schultz said she and other neighbors tried in vain to stop Bustos as he began to mutilate Barrios before police arrived. However, Schultz said Bustos suddenly became calm and did not resist the officers who arrested him.
Since Barrios did not die until the following morning, Bustos was charged with aggravated assault. However, police said they are now working with prosecutors at the Harris County District Attorney's Office to upgrade the charges.
The family is asking for donations to help with funeral expenses. A GoFundMe page has been established.