"She didn't deserve this:" Family of murdered Durham mom holds vigil to honor her memory

Thursday, December 31, 2020
"She didn't deserve this:" Family of murdered Durham mom plans vigil to honor her memory
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"She didn't deserve this. She was a sweet person, a good daughter, a responsible mom."

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The family of Jessica Cortez Luna, 28, who was murdered the day after Christmas in Durham, is planning a vigil as they mourn the young mother and the search continues for her killer.

The vigil is happening Wednesday at 7 p.m. in front of the bronze bull sculpture in downtown Durham.

"She didn't deserve this," her mother Esther Luna said in Spanish, crying. Luna talked to ABC11 exclusively. "She was a sweet person, a good daughter, a responsible mom."

Police are looking for Luna's boyfriend, 28-year-old Jorge Maya Gomez, of Florida. He is wanted for her murder.

Officers responding to an assault call on Capstone Drive found Luna dead inside a house. Her family said she was shot.

Durham Police Department said Gomez was seen taking off from the scene in a black 2016 Chevrolet 1500 Silverado truck with NC license plate HEW-3881. He is described as standing between 6' and 6'2'' tall, with a thin build, short brown hair and a long goatee.

Luna leaves behind four children, ranging in age from 7 months to 12 years old.

Luna's family said she and Gomez dated for five years. They suspected domestic violence.

Vigil held in Durham for murdered mother of 4

"She went back (to Gomez) over and over again," her sister Erika Cortez said. "And it was heartbreaking for the family to see that happen."

Her family is sharing her story to help others and is asking victims of domestic violence to get help.

"Please don't let this happen to you," Cortez said while crying. "Don't wait."

A GoFundMe page was created to help with funeral expenses.

Luna and Gomez had just moved to Florida and were visiting the Triangle to spend Christmas with family. The family said they had a nice time together for the holidays but noticed Luna seemed sad.

"I want him to pay for what he did," Luna's mother said.

Durham Police Department said Gomez also uses an alias of Martin Benitez, of Durham. He is considered armed and dangerous.

Anybody who has seen Jorge should call Crimestoppers at 919-683-1200.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE or reach them online.