Father of teen found strangled to death under bridge wants justice

Natalie Chavez, 15, found Thursday morning on West Side

SAN ANTONIO – The family of a teenager found strangled to death under a bridge on the city's West Side is speaking out.

Carlos Johnson said the last time he heard from his daughter, Natalie Chavez, 15, was through a text message she sent the night before she was killed.

In the text, Chavez said she was ready to come home and that she loved them.

"It's hard for me to talk about that because that's really the last thing," said Johnson. "And I felt like maybe if we would have answered. There's a lot of what-ifs. If we would have answered, maybe this could have been avoided."

Chavez's body was found about 10 a.m. Thursday under a bridge near the intersection of Vera Cruz and Nueva Leon Street.

Police said she was found naked and the medical examiner confirmed on Saturday that the teenager's cause of death was asphyxia, meaning she likely was strangled.

"What makes it the hardest part is how they did it," said Johnson. "How she was found, because I don't wish it upon my worst enemy. No parent should have to find out that their daughter was found that way."

Johnson said Chavez had a lot of friends who held a vigil for her on Saturday at the spot where her body was found.

"She was a very good daughter," said Johnson. "We miss her a lot already."

Johnson also said he had a message for his daughter's killer.

"You took our baby away from us," said Johnson. "There is a higher being that you're going to have to answer to. If you would have known my daughter, what you did to her, she did not deserve."

Friends of the family are putting together a fundraiser for Dec. 27, to help them pay for funeral expenses. It will be held at T.C.'s Sports Bar at 3503 Commercial Ave.

In the meantime, they are asking anyone who has any information on this case to call the San Antonio Police Department's Homicide Unit at 207-7635. You can also make an anonymous tip online by clicking this link.

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