News

Murder victim hoped to turn suspect 'back to man she fell in love with', friend says

Samantha Lopez, 31, killed by husband after domestic violence incident

PORTERVILLE, Calif. - New details on a young woman who investigators say was murdered by her husband. The victim is 31-year-old Samantha Lopez of Porterville.

Deputies found her body in her home Tuesday afternoon during a welfare check. Lopez is a mother of four. Family members say her children are ages 12 and under. Her youngest is a two-year-old boy. Investigators say domestic violence led to the Lopez's murder. 

Best friends since 10th grade, Rosa Servantes says Samantha Lopez-Quintanar was always there for her growing up, sharing memories through school, adulthood and weddings. In 2015, Victor and Samantha Lopez got married after dating for about ten years. According to Servantes, their marital issues weren't physical at first.

"A few times I would just go over and he would just be verbally abusive," said Servantes.

Servantes says the Lopez family moved from southern California to Porterville a couple years ago to start a new life but Samantha never revealed much about Victor to friends.

"I know that she was going through some hard things. I just never expected it was to this level," said Servantes.

Until Tuesday afternoon in Porterville where the Tulare County Sheriff's Violent Crimes Unit investigated the Lopez home on the 1100 block of East Date. Detectives say Victor killed his wife Samantha and deputies found him running away from the scene. Officials say three of Samantha's four children were inside when deputies arrived.

"Her biggest fear was that her kids would be split," said Servantes.

Samantha's two oldest children from a previous marriage -- are now with their father. Her two youngest are with child protective services, officials say. Their father now behind bars, charged with murder.

"She always believed that she could change him back to the man she fell in love with," said Servantes.

Servantes says Samantha saw good in everyone. A driven woman who paid her way through college, earning her masters degree in social work at Azusa Pacific University. A bright light for family and friends, dimmed too soon.

"I just want her to know that I love her and that she meant the world to me," said Servantes.

Rosa Servantes has started a GoFundMe campaign to help with funeral expenses. If you'd like to donate, click here

WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON:

>>MORE STORIES


Bay Area News

Video Center

Latest News

Stay Connected

  • Download the free KRON4 News App
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.