Family, friends of murder victim speaks out - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Family, friends of murder victim speaks out

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The family of Julie Ann Gonzalez, missing mom of more than three years, addressed the media Tuesday. It's the first time they've talked about the arrest of their estranged son-in-law. Something they'd anticipated all along.

Juan Soto returned to the South Austin Walgreens Tuesday where his granddaughter's car was left abandoned three and a half years ago. Mystery still surrounds what happened there.

But now, there is a clear suspect--her estranged husband George De la Cruz. He is now locked up in the Travis County Jail.

FOX 7 obtained video of him being finger-printed and getting his mug shots taken Friday of last week.

The family chose former senator and state representative Gonzalo Barrientos to read a statement.

"They've gone through sleepless nights, pain, anger, stress, anxiety and of course much prayer," Barrientos said. "They wish to thank the Austin Police Department, the district attorney and the court system, and everyone who's been so supportive and continue to have them in their prayers."

The family does not wish to speak for themselves as they fear it may jeopardize their wish to take custody of the couple's 6-year-old daughter. She was two when Gonzalez disappeared. She is also one of many reasons why those who knew Gonzalez say she would not have wanted to get away, leaving on her own free will, as first reported by De la Cruz in March of 2010.

"She was a lady full of promise. She had a new job. She had become a pharmacy tech working for Walgreens. She was excited about buying her new car and taking care of her daughter Layla. Very, very strong lady," family friend Jeff Mosely said.

The family is now looking forward to letting the legal process take its course.

"We've been waiting for a long time for this there are many friends and supporters that have been with the Sotos over the past three years. We are glad that at least it has started the process and now we still pray though for Julie's return to her family," said Mosely.

De la Cruz remains in jail on a half a million dollar bond.

Both families will be in court tomorrow at 9 a.m. to discuss who will get custody of the couple's child.

De la Cruz has been caring for her, but now that he is in jail, Gonzalez's family wants to take custody.

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