Father hopes painful story might help save a life - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Father hopes painful story might help save a life

June 4, 2007

Fitzgerald --  A mourning the death of his 18-year old daughter father hopes his painful story might help save someone's life. Cindy Olivares was gunned down by her estranged husband a little more than a week ago.

Her friends sometimes called her "Dixie Girl", but to her father, she was his pride and joy.

"Cindy was fun loving, she loved people, she was just and everyday girl," said the Victim's father, Steve Griffin.

For 18-year-old Cindy Olivares, the young mother of a 16-month-old son, life was just beginning. The young woman who attended school while raising her infant son Brandon, always put family first.

But on the night of May 26th, the unimaginable happened. Around 10PM, Cindy's estranged husband, 19-year-old Alberto Olivares shot her, and her 44-year-old step-father before turning the gun on himself.

When Griffin arrived on the scene, he was faced with every parents worst nightmare. "A lot of things flashes, and I think I probably replayed half of her life, standing there," he said.

Cindy, like millions of other women in America was a victim of domestic violence. As she clung to life, her father said his last goodbye. "I crawled up in the back of the ambulance and I grabbed her hand and she 'Daddy help me.' And I said 'I'm doing all that I can do, and that's to pray.'"

Just two months shy of gaining her diploma from the Performance learning Center in Fitzgerald, the young woman who dreamed of someday becoming a nurse, had her life cut short, the victim of the worst form of domestic violence.

Her father looks back and wishes he had noticed the warning signs of Cindy's abusive partner. "There should have been some red flags, and I missed them"

It is a pain that has hurt an entire family. A young life lost too young. A father, left with a final farewell. "I'd have to to say thank you, for 18 beautiful years.

As the flowers covering her gravesite stand as a memorial to the young woman who enjoyed laughing, the outdoors, and spending time with those she loved, her father has a message for young women out there struggling with abuse. "You need to avoid these people. Talk to your parents. That's where you're going to get your advice, talk to your parents."

Cindy Olivares was laid to rest on Saturday. Her stepfather who was wounded during the shooting is slowly recovering from a serious gunshot wound to the leg.

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