SAN ANTONIO – The parents of a woman who died after being stabbed several times, and who jumped from a moving vehicle to save her life, are hoping their daughter’s story inspires others to get out of domestic violence relationships.
Miranda Milowski, 27, was a newly sworn corrections officer with a goal to better her life and the life of her children.
“She loved people so much, and she loved helping everyone,” said Kelly Milowski, her mother. “She was the best mother of three who loved her to death. She was smart as hell, awkwardly funny and a mom to everyone. She was so caring and made sure everybody was taken care of, even those who didn’t deserve it. She always wanted everyone to be ok.”
Miranda loved getting her family together, even after her parents split up 17 years ago. Scott Milowski, her father, had never dreamed he would be flying in from California to bury his first-born daughter.
“I had her when I was 22 and was scared half to death to be a father,” Scott Milowski said. “She showed me what real love is --unconditional love. She taught me more in her 27 years than what I could ever teach her.”
Miranda Milowski was killed Sunday, May 24. Deputies learned she was stabbed several times before trying to escape a moving vehicle in far west Bexar County. Michael Gonzales, 27 drove that vehicle, officials said.
Gonzales was the father of Miranda Milowski’s children.
“I was here, and we were getting ready to take her to the range because she wanted to go there after she graduated. (Gonzales') mom called me frantic, and I tracked Miranda’s phone to the scene. I worked in law enforcement, so I know you don’t just cut off a block just because of a domestic fight. I just didn’t know who was hurt. It took a while for the deputies to talk to me, and when they did, they just said it was a female victim," Kelly Milowski said.
"That’s when I knew. I spent the whole day there. They put the tent up and it blew over, and I knew she was still there on the ground. I couldn’t go to her, and she was just laying there," Kelly Milowski continued through tears.
Miranda Milowski's parents said Gonzales had a history of abusing their daughter.
“The experience I had with this guy through the years of them being on and off together was not good,” Scott Milowski said. “This guy is a huge coward. He depended on drugs and alcohol to fuel his courage. When I got the call, I thought something bad had happened because of what he’s done in the past, but not like this.”
Both Scott and Kelly Milowski said they tried over eight years to protect their daughter from Gonzales.
“As parents, I think we are going to hold some amount of guilt,” Scott Milowski said. “We have both pulled her out that relationship. She has moved in with us with her kids, whether in Texas or in California. The guilt he would give her about not seeing his kids. She wanted to make her kids happy, so she would go back and try to work it out with him.”
“He is the father of her children, so I think a part of her did love him,” Kelly Milowski said. “She wanted to be the peacekeeper. She knew the love they had was not the healthy kind of love. She would leave him, and he would win her back. ‘Im going to be better. It is not going to happen again. I am not going to drink anymore.’ Literally days, not even weeks, not even months -- he was back to it.”
One memory, in particular, stuck out for Scott Milowski as he recounted his daughter trying to go to the police for help.
“December 23, 2019, (Gonzales) dragged my daughter from a vehicle, hitting her and dragging her around,” Scott Milowski said. “Miranda videotaped everything right outside his parents' house. She called the local sheriff’s department there, and a deputy showed up. His brother killed himself about a year ago, and he told the deputy he was distraught over his brother’s death. That was the excuse he gave for beating on my daughter.”
Both of Miranda Milowski’s parents were appalled at the response their daughter received.
“The deputy consoled him and his mother, deleted my daughter’s video she showed her of him beating her, and she told her how dare she bring up anything about his brother’s death and cause him and his family so much grief. She made her feel like my daughter deserved it," said Scott Milowski.
Scott Milowski said his daughter came over immediately and told him everything that happened, and both he and Kelly Milowski tried to make a complaint against the deputy.
“They told us the lady was looking to retire, so they wanted us to just let this go,” Scott Milowski said.
“Miranda didn’t want to rock the boat. She never wanted to rock the boat because that was just who she was. She never wanted to call police because she was afraid of his retaliation," Kelly Milowski said. "She would call me hundreds of times and have it on speaker, so I could hear what he was doing and screaming. I would always tell her to call the police, but she wouldn’t and not wanting to upset her more or ruin our relationship, I respected her wishes. In hindsight, I wish I hadn’t. I wish that deputy would have done her job, and maybe this wouldn’t have happened.”
Scott Milowski said the conversation he had with his daughter about that incident afterward made him realize a bigger issue.
“She said, ‘This is why I have never called the cops before because now I feel like I have done something wrong,” Scott Milowski said. “‘They told me I was blowing this out of proportion, and there was no reason to call the cops.’ I believe this probably happens to a lot of battered women. They get that fear in their heads, and they are afraid to call police because they think they may look down on them, but there is more help out there than they know.”
He said his daughter did not deserve to die at all, especially the way she did.
“She had a way about her where she could light up a room,” Scott Milowski said. “I am seeing messages from people she met when she was in the fourth grade, saying they were the geeky kid, and Miranda befriended them and would make them feel special and excited about coming to school.”
He said his daughter had self-confidence issues but would always do something brave.
“I remember I would have her in my arms when she was a year old,” Scott Milowski said through tears. “We would go to the 8 feet of the swimming pool, and I would say, ‘You ready?’ And she would say, ‘Yeah, daddy.’ We would jump in and go straight to the bottom, and I’d let her go, and she would power her way back to the top and say, ‘Let’s go again, daddy.’ There are just so many memories she left with me.”
Scott Milowski said his daughter’s bravery showed the day she was murdered.
“I have always taught all of my girls to fight,” Scott Milowski said. “Even if you think the blow you got was a deathly blow, you fight! For her to reach down, unbuckle her seatbelt, get out of it, open the door and jump out of that vehicle while it was moving and -- what I am hearing from witnesses -- she was still alert.”
He said his daughter gave Gonzales’ full name, date of birth, the description of his clothes, the kind of car he was driving and more information to witnesses so they could tell deputies when they arrived.
“She also mentioned, ‘Make sure you tell my kids that I love them,’ Scott Milowski said as he got choked up. “As a father of five daughters, it makes me very proud that she did fight. I always knew she was a fighter.”
Miranda Milowski leaves behind three young children -- a 7-year-old son, a 5-year-old daughter and another 2-year-old daughter.
“We haven’t told them exactly what happened because I don’t want that in their minds at this time,” Kelly Milowski said. “They know daddy hurt mommy, and they know mommy can’t come home and is in heaven with their grandmother and uncles.”
They said that, in February, Miranda Milowski made her final exit from the relationship.
“The drugs and alcohol got worse than what it has ever been, and she called me up. She has been here in San Antonio since studying to be a corrections officer," Kelly Milowski said. "She was so excited about doing that and possibly nursing school to be an RN at the same time. She could have been anything she wanted; she was that smart.”
Miranda Milowski successfully graduated Friday, May 22, which was two days before Gonzales flew in to drop their son off.
“(Gonzales) wanted to do his version of celebrating her graduation, which was just a ploy to win her back. He bought a house to win her back. He should have caught on. She was set on her dreams, and she was fierce and was going to do this on her own," Kelly Milowski said. "He couldn’t handle it. He couldn’t stand it, that she moved here and had succeeded. She didn’t want him or need him, and the old saying, ‘If I can’t have you, then nobody can, not even our children.’”
“I had texts from her the entire time of her being excited about going through the academy,” Scott Milowski said. “She was like, ‘This is it.’ I believe that is part of the reason (Gonzales) did what he did. I think he gave her an ultimatum of dropping everything and going back with him or else, and it led to this. That is, of course, speculation, but I just could tell from her demeanor that day she was set on doing this.”
Her parents said the children are traumatized.
“After he did what he did, he went to his family member’s house and slit his throat and wrists in front of the children. Of course, he was too much of a coward to truly follow through with it, but he cut deep enough where blood was everywhere," Kelly Milowski said. "They saw that image of him all bloody, and it is their heads. The youngest one keeps asking about it. They are going to need a lot of counseling, and I just hope and pray they are able to have healthy normal lives one day. They are going to know their mommy was a warrior.”
Miranda Milowski's parents said they are beyond grateful for the help from the witnesses that were by her side as she died.
“The fact that she was looking up at someone who was talking to her nicely that was calming her and giving her encouraging words, and she wasn’t alone in those last minutes, meant the world to her,” Scott Milowski said. “I know it because she wouldn’t have wanted to be alone. It means the world to us -- to know there was kind people doing the right thing there at that time, trying to save our baby.”
Miranda Milowski's parents said they have no sign of forgiveness for Gonzales.
“She was a tiny, thin girl, and this guy savagely killed her,” Scott Milowski said. “What a coward. He took my baby girl, my first-born. I wouldn’t have forgiveness for anyone who hurts my kids. I don’t want to say what I would like to do to this guy, but it is nothing nice.”
“I want him to burn in hell,” Kelly Milowski said. “I know that is not the Christian thing to say, but I have no forgiveness. I was told he doesn’t have any remorse for this. I want him to suffer the way my daughter suffered, so he knows what she felt. He took her children’s future away because now it is always going to be overshadowed by their mother missing.”
The parents have filed a restraining order against Gonzales and his family. They plan to use extra money the community donated to help pay for funeral expenses and open separate accounts for her children to have when they get older.
They also said they will forever be a voice to help people battling domestic violence.
“If Miranda was standing right here, I think she would ask these women that are in these types of relationships to please, please get out,” Scott Milowski said. “These men are never going to change. Get out and stay out.”
“Don’t do the one last drive,” Kelly Milowski said. “Don’t do the one last talk. Don't do the one last visit because, literally, those are the last visits for everybody.”
Gonzales is still in Bexar County custody, facing first-degree murder with a bond set at $600,000.