Remembering Marisol: Family Chasing Justice Six Months After Death

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DALLAS -- If you saw fire flickering in the sky Sunday night over Lake Ray Hubbard, don't worry. It wasn't UFOs. It was lanterns sent up in memory of Marisol Espinosa.

You probably remember Marisol, the murdered mother of three who went missing December 29. This Wednesday marks six months since her family and friends saw her alive. It's also Espinosa's 35th birthday.

"I've been done counting the days since nothing's happened," said her cousin, Wendy Lopez. "I guess put me in the kids' shoes and how long they've been without her."

Marisol's case is still active and unsolved, but there haven't been many updates recently. Lopez says as far as she's concerned, updates aren't necessary.

"I'm never wrong. Never wrong," Lopez said. "Deep down inside, my gut feeling tells me it's him."

The "him" is Marisol's ex, Faustino Valdez. He disappeared shortly after Marisol went missing, leaving her mom to raise the couple's kids.

"If you're not guilty, how could you let your kids go through a situation like this without your support, without your strength?" Lopez asked. "Because he's weak."

And speaking of a weak move, the huge cross that was planted by the Dowdy Ferry dog rescuers next to the bridge where they found Marisol's body is gone. It was placed there with her name painted on it and flower pots around the bottom. Now, it's snapped off about a foot above the ground and is missing. A theft report was filed with the Dallas Police Department.

Lopez has her suspicions that the vandals are connected to her sister's death. All she's really interested in, though, is justice, even it if wasn't something Marisol would've pursued.

"Even if she were alive now, she would still forgive whoever did it to her," Lopez said.

But Marisol isn't alive now and the hunt for a killer continues.