Spencer Solves It: Christmas surprise for grandmother raising grandchildren after daughter killed

HOUSTON – Zena Mikel tries her best to smile and cheer up her three grandchildren, as they decorate their Christmas tree.

It’s a Christmas these children will never forget for all the most horrible reasons. Our Spencer Solves It team is working to bring this family a little hope this holiday season.

Tragic turn for the family just weeks ago

On Nov. 23, Zena’s 24-year-old daughter, and the mother of Zena’s grandchildren, was shot to death right outside her apartment at the Preserve of Westchase Apartments.

“I mean, he took my baby you know,” Zena Mikel said. “She was 24 years old, she didn’t even get to live her life yet and her babies, they’re so young.”

Kneeling at the crime scene and looking in disbelief at her daughter’s lifeless body, it was the worst moment of Zena’s life. Her daughter was a loving mother and she had no enemies.

“I just don’t see how anybody could just shoot somebody in the back for no reason, for what?” Zena said. “Every day we wake up asking ourselves, ‘Is this really happening.’”

Now, Zena and her husband have taken it upon themselves to raise their daughter Brenna’s children.

But with the COVID-19 crisis, Zena’s husband Lewis, a construction worker, has been out of work. Money has been incredibly tight.

“It’s very difficult to add more people to feed and more people to clothe and take care of that your income wasn’t used to. We’re barely scraping by right now,” Zena said.

All of which means Zena and the children would be looking at a very bleak Christmas this year.

That’s when Zena’s father contacted Spencer Solves It.

“My great-grandchildren were going to have a pretty bad Christmas of memories,” Larry Mikel said. “They need something right now. There’s been so much that’s been so bad for them day after day.”

Spencer Solves It Team on the case

Now, the Spencer Solves It Team, working with the generous people at Academy Sports and Outdoors, will be giving Zena’s grandchildren brand new bicycles, one for each child.

“I mean every kid, that’s the classic Christmas present, right? Under the tree is a new bike,” said Tyler Sumrall, with Academy Sports+Outdoors.

And then there is Randy Hartley, one of Bill’s Brigades most giving benefactors.

“I just wanted to help them out,” Randy said. “The tragedy that happened with Breanna is indescribable.”

Randy has a huge gift for the whole family.

“Would you please accept this visa gift card for $1,000,” Randy said.

“Oh thank you, thank you very much, we appreciate this, this will go a long way in taking care of Brenna’s children,” Zena said.

But of course, there’s more coming. We have one more thing for this family that’s been through so much. Academy Sports and Outdoors also gave the family a $500 gift card to spend on whatever they want. There is also a GoFundMe account set up to help the children.

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About the Author:

Emmy-winning investigative reporter, insanely competitive tennis player, skier, weightlifter, crazy rock & roll drummer (John Bonham is my hero). Husband to Veronica and loving cat father to Bella and Meemo.