Iowa family mourns teen found under bridge

Natalie Chavez, 15, had moved from Sioux City to SA about a year ago

SAN ANTONIO – This Christmas Eve, the family of a teen girl found dead in San Antonio last week is miles away in Iowa, where she grew up.

They can't understand why the 15-year-old girl was killed; her body found naked under a West Side bridge.

The mourning for Natalie Chavez stretches from South Texas to Sioux City. Her family moved from there roughly a year ago.

Last week, her life came to a tragic end. Her body was found, naked and likely strangled, beneath a bridge near Vera Cruz and Nueva Leon streets.

"We don't know who did it to her," said her cousin, Christina Morales. "(Or) why they took her life (at) 15 years old."

She said the manner in which Natalie was found is heartbreaking.

Her family is now mourning through the holidays they planned to spend together.

"We already had her present," said Chavez's aunt, Peggy Zertuche. "She wanted an iPhone. And now, it's the holidays but to me, it's just sad, you know?"

Relatives say the last anyone heard from Chavez was via text message, when she told her father she was ready to come home the night before she was killed.

San Antonio police are investigating her death as a homicide and looking into derogatory social media posts that have surfaced about her murder since her body was found.

"Every bit of information we get could be critical," said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus. "We want anyone with useful information to call us and talk to us."

Chavez's family said she had plans to move back in with her grandmother in Sioux City this holiday season.

Meanwhile, in San Antonio, several community organizations will be holding a fundraiser on Friday. All proceeds will be going toward funeral and burial expenses.

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