The devastated parents of a Wichita Falls High School senior share the amazing things she accomplished in her short life often times for others. They’re also speaking about her admitted killer.
On Nov. 3, 2018, Yajaira Garcia, 17, left her home to take the SAT at MSU scheduled for 7 a.m. but never showed.
The Wichita County Sheriff’s Office said Josh Cook, 19, called 911 and said he’d shot Yajaira. When they arrived at the scene on Hammon Ranch Road, they said Cook was kneeling over her with a gun in his hand and that she’d been shot once to the left side of her chest.
“It’s a pain that he doesn’t wish on anyone. It’s the worst thing. He can’t put it into words,” a translator for Yajaira’s father Ramiro Garcia said.
Although Yajaira’s parents never approved of Cook, like many parents in the same position, they said they were concerned she’d rebel toward him further if they tried to force the two to stay apart.
“Instead of denying her to see him and her going behind their backs. They agreed that they would let her see him so she could find out by herself what kind of person he was,” the translator for Garcia said.
The translator said Yajaira had told her parents about Cook, but she said she had ended the relationship.
“About two months ago. Yajaira had told her mom he had been at Red River. Upon entering Red River Yajaira was still in a relationship with the man. Before he had got out she had ended the relationship,” the translator for Yajaira’s mother Maria Mayela said.
The translator said Mayela said her daughter was a fun loving person who only cared about other people.
“She had lots of friends. She was very well loved and liked by everyone. If somebody was having a problem. She was always ready to help. She was always saying ‘mom, mom I helped this girl out or helped a friend out. She was just always about other people,” the translator said for Mayela.
Now, Yajaira’s parents only want to see justice.
“For him to stay in prison so he doesn’t harm anybody else,” Garcia said. “She was a great role model for younger students for kids everywhere. She wants girls to be aware of who they are dating and if they have signs that if the person isn’t right to be more cautious,” the translator said for Mayela.
When deputies arrived on the scene, they said Cook gave them the gun in his hand when they asked for it. The probable cause affidavit states that’s when he told them he was responsible. Cook’s initial bond was set at $100,000 before being increased to $750,000.
Monday night her soccer coach issued a statement:
Yajaira was an incredibly sweet young woman with a gentle heart who would do anything for her friends, classmates, and even strangers. On the field, Yajaira was small in size, but played as big as her heart. She always brought a smile to the locker room and to the team even when things didn’t go our way. Her infectious personality would light up any room. Yajaira always put people before herself. Her positive attitude and determination was a constant and her impact on all of us will be missed, but never lost. She was my little Rose Petal.
-Rob Woodard, WFHS Girls’ Soccer Coach