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Slain woman, murder suspect had been friends since middle school :: WRAL.com

April 7, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 46.6%. 2 min read.

The roommate and longtime friend of a woman found dead in her Raleigh apartment over the weekend was ordered held without bond Thursday in her death.

Erick Gael Hernandez-Mendez, 20, is charged with murder in the death of Christina Maria Matos.

"There's no reason, no excuse to just take someone's life away, someone as beautiful as her," Matos' older brother, Abraham Matos, told WRAL News on Thursday.

Christina Matos and Hernandez-Mendez had been friends since middle school and graduated from Clayton High School last year.

Her father, Gerardo Matos, said he and his wife last heard from their daughter last Friday, which was her 20th birthday.

Christina Matos had called and texted them and seemed to be in very good spirits, he said.

They said Hernandez-Mendez came right away when they called him over the weekend and helped in the search for her.

Family members said they have asked Raleigh police to continue investigating the case because they believe others might have been involved in Christina Matos' death.

"He may have done it, but maybe someone else helped open the door to her apartment or have been an accomplice," Gerardo Matos said.

"Something tells me there's more," agreed Abraham Matos, who said Hernandez-Mendez's arrest brings him no relief.

"I want to make sure this is the 100 percent truth, that it actually happened, because I know that she deserves that more than anything," he said.

Christina Matos' friends got emotional after Hernandez-Mendez's brief court hearing on Thursday, insisting there is a second suspect.

We need those answers," Nijiah Williams said.

"We here for justice for Christina," Gerardo Matos said after the hearing.

Christina Matos had a difficult childhood but was turning her life around in Raleigh, her brother said.

I wish I could have said more. "

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