‘She is now a guardian angel:’ Loved ones remember slain Raleigh 20-year-old

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Loved ones paid their respects to Christina Matos at her funeral in Raleigh on Monday.

The 20-year-old was found stabbed to death in her apartment near North Carolina State University just over a week ago.

“She is now a guardian angel. May she rest in peace. Christina, I love you,” said her brother Abraham Matos at the services.

Christina Matos’ brother talked at her funeral about their sibling bond.

He said they grew up together in a one-bedroom apartment in New York before the family moved to Clayton.

“She was a city girl. She loved the bright lights of New York and its people. She also was always curious about people and wanted to know about people and their personalities,” he said.

Court records said Christina Matos was stabbed to death over Easter weekend, which is also the weekend she was celebrating her 20th birthday.

Police found her in her locked apartment room.

Erick Hernandez-Mendez, 20, is charged with her murder.

They’d known each other since high school in Clayton and became roommates last year in Raleigh, according to Matos’ loved ones.

The two were married about a week before her death.

Her family didn’t know about the marriage.

Christina Matos’ friends said she and Hernandez-Mendez’s marriage wasn’t based on love, and they weren’t in a relationship.

Police haven’t released a motive for the killing.

“You’re sad, you’re confused, there’s a little bit of anger, you don’t have answers that you want and there’s a lot going on,” said Youth Pastor Will Kelley with Everett Chapel Church in Clayton.

Kelley was Matos’ youth pastor.

“She was always the one asking if people were okay, asking if they had what they needed when we went on our youth activities and things like that,” said Kelley.

Eric Gael Hernandez-Mendez. (Courtesy of Raleigh-Wake CCBI)

He led her funeral services, praising her kindness, curiosity, and relationship with God.

Kelley said she touched many people’s lives with the love she gave.

“You’re broken for the family. You’re just absolutely broken for those that love her. You hate to see them dealing with this and meanwhile, you’re broken yourself, so it’s tough, it’s difficult,” said Kelley.

He said he’s not sure if they will ever be able to wrap their heads around this violent death.

Her family members have told CBS 17 they want more answers and justice in the case.

Hernandez-Mendez is being held without bond and is scheduled to appear in court again at the end of the month.

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