SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - She was a beloved 27-year-old woman from San Jose, whose life was cut tragically short. Authorities arrested her ex-boyfriend for her murder. One year later, her parents are honoring her and calling for change to help other domestic violence victims.
This Sunday marks the one year anniversary of Alessandra Barlas's death. While her accused killer sits in Santa Clara County Jail, Alessandra's parents are starting a nonprofit. Their hope is to create a database similar to Megan's Law.
"She was one of the most incredible people I've ever met and we were really really close," said Diann Beatty.
Diann Beatty longs for the day she could hug and kiss her 27-year-old daughter again. Barlas was a San Jose State alum, who volunteered at the Second Harvest Food Bank and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center about to start nursing school when she was suddenly taken away.
"I know she's alive," said Diann Beatty. "It's just she's in heaven. I miss her and there's time when I just grieve and cry and weep because I love her."
A year ago, Alessandra was found dead in a downtown San Jose condo. Authorities arrested her ex-boyfriend Hugo Castro for her murder. Castro made headlines after he went to the Santa Clara County Jail to turn himself in and a deputy told him to go to the San Jose Police Department. However, what Alessandra's parents find more troubling is that he had spent three years in jail prior to meeting Alessandra for abusing another woman.
"We didn't know about it," said Rick Beatty, victim's father. "Something like that why don't people know about people who do this? We have a Megan's list for sexual predators but for people who try to kill their intimate partners, don't know about that?"
They're turning their grief into something positive, a nonprofit called Alessandra's Foundation to shine a light on perpetrators of domestic violence. One of their goals working with legislators to create a registry.
"there's no politics involved here," said Rick Beatty. "It's just common sense."
They know it will take time to create a new law. Their purpose now is to spark conversation and awareness.
"It's all because of Alessandra because her name means helper and defender of mankind and she would be all over this," said Rick Beatty.
More than 800 people attended Alessandra's funeral. This Saturday, her parents will be launching the nonprofit at a memorial celebration at Gateway Church in San Jose.