FORT DODGE, Iowa -- The events of the past week are experiences the Gomez-Ebner family hopes no one else ever has to suffer through.
“I didn’t know what to think of any of it. I didn’t want to believe any of it, either,” said Shawn Halber, brother of Jessica Gomez. Jessica was reported missing after last being seen on August 4th.
Halber was realistic about the situation. As each day passed and more details emerged, he and his family kept hoping that it wouldn’t end the way it did.
“I kinda still had hope after they found the body, I still had hope that it wasn’t her,” said Audrey Douglas.
On August 12th, after a week of searching, police found Jessica's body about a mile away from the home of the woman with whom she had been reported missing.
Since then, Halber has replayed the last conversation he had with her at least a dozen times and wonders what he could have done differently.
“I just saw her and I just talked to her. Why did this have to happen now,” he wondered.
Gomez leaves behind three small children, a husband, and a lot of family.
“Everybody is her family. She doesn’t really have friends, she’s got family. That’s what it is,” said Douglas.
Those family members have poured out their love for Jessica in a Facebook group called Justice4Jess. Almost 900 members have joined and are sharing stories about her. Halbur hopes Gomez will be remembered for how she lived, rather than how she died.
“She was loved by many, friends and family. She was always there for anyone that needed her for support, assistance, or anything. She was great mother to her three beautiful babies,” said Halber.