Family and friends are honoring the memory of a young Murrieta mother who was discovered killed one year today, Oct. 31, 2012, in her apartment.
As they await the trial of Shanae Christiana Wesley’s accused killer, Marquise Denzell McGlown, they want her memory not to be forgotten.
“She was an amazing mother, daughter, sister, niece and friend,” said Becca Henderson, Wesley’s close friend and neighbor. “We want everyone to know it and not forget it. Too many of the slain are forgotten.”
Henderson said Wesley had moved to the Waterstone Apartments to live closer to her. She recalled the night of Oct. 30, when Wesley went out to a Temecula bar/restaurant where she first came across her alleged killer.
“We could never get her to go out,” Henderson said. “She worked two to three jobs so to get her to go out was a very rare thing.”
When Wesley did go out, Henderson said she would usually accompany her. But Oct. 30, 2012, Henderson had to work.
“So I did not go...and then the next day I get the call to go check on her and I go to a crime scene,” said Henderson, who has since moved from the apartment complex.
One year later, Henderson and others who were close to Wesley are attempting to put aside the horror of that morning and simply remember the good.
“Everyone misses her,” said Tania Kaigler, Wesley’s aunt. “We survive on those good memories.”
One memory that particularly sticks out for Kaigler is that Wesley often took time out of her busy school and work schedule to spend time with her ailing grandmother.
Her grandmother, 76, died of a stroke one month after Wesley’s death.
“She would go to Pomona as often as she could. She would sit there with her study books and watch her,” Kaigler said.
They also remember what a good mother Wesley was to her young son, Malachi, who was rescued from a fire that engulfed Wesley’s apartment the morning of her death.
“She was an amazing mother,” Henderson said. “I never in my life met anyone like her. She would work two to three jobs and was going to school—everything was for him, to give him a good life.”
Malachi is now 4 years old and being raised by family members. He attends the same preschool Wesley had him in, Kaigler said, and has been reunited with his father.
“He is happy and healthy,” Kaigler said, adding that they keep photos of his mother close by. "He does miss her."
Thursday night, Kaigler, other family members and friends will travel to Riverside, where Wesley’s name is engraved on a crime victims’ memorial wall. The wall is a project of the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
“It is a sacred place that we go,” Kaigler said.