Family of Murdered Odessa Man Speaks Out

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - An Odessa family speaking out after the murder of a loved one in Seattle.

Family members of 25-year-old Noel Lopez say he suffered from bi-polar disorder, and had it not been for that disease, he might still be alive today.

Noel was savegely beaten to death, and it is safe to say those who knew him mourn him right along with his family.

"He was just golden, is how we described him.  His skin was golden, but his aura was golden as well.  He just radiated so much light, and so much energy," Adelita Lopez, said.

But inside, this golden boy was suffering, and he needed help.

"Noel himself had tried to admit himself to a hospital there.  They told him the only way he could get mental help was if he was suicidal or a threat to other people," Gabriel Lopez said.

Noel had been diagnosed as bi-polar, three years ago and was taking medication, but in the weeks before his death, noel's condition quickly got worse, having a drastic impact on his education.

"He had recently been asked to leave school, because of his erratic behavior," Adelita said.

And it was a bad judgement call that resulted in his tragic death.

"And it was Noel's manic state, due to the illness, that allowed him to even be in such a situation, to fight these gentlemen in the first place, and then to be trusting enough to then with them, and run into these gentlemen again," Gabriel said.

Two Seattle men have been charged with Noel's murder.   And even though he's gone, the family plans to remember him on his special days.

"Noel was a Christmas baby.  This was actually the wonderful stocking that they put him in, in the hospital. It has always been his Christmas stocking and we will always still hang it for him," Adelita said.

And still has a little bit of compassion for the men, that took him away from them.

"Yes there is a part of me that would love to see them get the death penalty.  That wouldn't bring back my little brother, and that's just two other parents out there somewhere that lost their boys," Gabriel said.

The Lopez family plans to establish a research charity in Noel's name.