The parents of the Wichita Falls teen who was brutally murdered while walking home from school were surprised by a very kind gesture Monday.
The Landavazos were gifted a $400 gift card to the Broken Bow vacation cabins in Oklahoma, a gift the tech sergeants on Sheppard Air Force Base hope will help the family relax a little following the pain no parent should ever have to endure.
Vern and Bianka Landavazo have been through so much since the senseless murder of their daughter Lauren.
They continue to work in her memory, now fighting for legislation that would change the age limit for capital punishment to be considered during prosecution.
One thing that has helped give this family strength is the constant support from the community.
“It’s overwhelming really, you guys help us get through and it’s just a blessing,” Lauren’s mother Bianka Landavazo said.
Airmen at Sheppard Air Force Base organized a surprise for Vern and Bianka, a gesture Vern said he was not expecting.
“Very surprised, but also not surprised,” Lauren’s father, Vern Landavazo said. “The people that I work with, the squadron from the commander on down, are just amazing people.”
Airman Anthony McCall said the idea started after watching the reports inside the courtroom and seeing the pain in the faces of the Landavazos.
“We were just having a conversation one night and was like you know we should do something,” McCall said.
Vern said after they lost Lauren they didn’t think they could bear to continue to live in this area, but they now feel differently.
“Because you just don’t see this kind of outpouring in other places, at least any place we’ve ever been, so it would be hard to leave that behind,” Landavazo said.
“I’m glad we did that, I am really, really glad that we had an opportunity to show them you know it really is about comraderies, they don’t wear the uniform like us, but they are still apart of the team,” McCall said.
McCall said he hopes this kind gesture helps remind the Landavazos the Sheppard family will always be there for them.
“We got your back, no matter what. We’re here for you,” McCall said.
And the Landavazos have felt that support in so many ways since their daughter was taken from this world far too soon.
The Landavazos are thinking they may use the certificate to take a trip around Christmas time.
Vern’s coworkers also gave Bianka a bouquet of flowers, as part of today’s special presentation.
Two weeks ago, Kody Lott was found guilty of all charges related to the death of Lauren Landavazo and the shooting her friend Makayla Smith.
The 22-year-old received the maximum punishment, life in prison for the murder and 20 years for the aggravated assault.
Lott remains in the Wichita County jail awaiting extradition to prison.