Her voice trembling in unspeakable sadness, Veronica Garcia sat next to her husband, Alan, as they thanked New Mexico's police while vowing to never forget their 4-year-old daughter who was senselessly shot to death on Tuesday evening in an apparent road rage incident.
"I do want to thank the community for sending in tips to catch this guy who took my baby," Lilly Garcia’s mother said in an interview with KOAT ABC 7 News.
The family spoke of little Lilly just moments before news broke that police had captured and charged Tony Terrez, 32, with murder after he confessed to shooting the girl in the head while driving during rush hour on Interstate 40 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
"My Illiana Rose [Lilly Garcia] had this personality that was over and above her age," Veronica said of her daughter to KOAT. "She just had this smile and those beautiful big brown eyes that just light up a room. You would just see her and you would just smile. She was so polite. And you know she just grabbed your heart. The first time that you met her she would grab your heart. She's going to be missed by a lot of people."
On Wednesday Patty Romero, Lilly's aunt,started a GoFundMe page to pay for the funeral services that raised more than $59,000 dollars in less than 24 hours. French Funeral Home in Albuquerque has offered to pay for the burial of little Lilly.
Alan Garcia, who was driving the vehicle with his daughter and 7-year-old son in the back seat when Terrez pulled out a gun, thanked the firefighter who took care of his son.
"The firefighter that took care of Isaac for us," he said. "[A] very good man, took very good care of our little boy."
Lilly's grandmother, who she called "Nana," said she was a very special little girl and said she used to call her granddaughter "Lilly Willy."
"She loved to dance, she got some pink boots for her birthday or Christmas and she loved to get into those boots," she said. "She loved to sing. She loved school. She always wanted to go visit me. Words cannot even begin to explain, my heart is broken into a million pieces."
The family says they will make sure there is justice for Lilly, and vow they will be in court every step of the way to make sure the "coward" responsible gets what he deserves.
"You guys will see my face again and we are going to make sure whoever did this is going to pay," Veronica said. "Mark my words you guys will see me again."