WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A woman who recently became a resident of Wichita Falls is asking her new community for help after an unthinkable tragedy.
Michelle Rust, a former resident of Wichita Falls with family living in town, relocated back to Wichita Falls around the beginning of February 2022.
Her daughter, 26-year-old Subrina Calderon, was brutally beaten by her boyfriend, 40-year-old Thomas Lopez, and later died from her injuries.
“When I moved, I asked my daughter to come with me,” Rust said. “She ended up being taken to Portales, New Mexico by Thomas Lopez, who held her hostage and beat her with a golf club to death.”
According to the arrest affidavit, Calderon arrived with Lopez at Roosevelt General Hospital in Roosevelt County, New Mexico, on February 23, claiming she’d fallen down stairs.
Lopez drove away from the hospital, after which time Calderon told hospital staff Lopez had battered her with golf clubs, bit her on the ear, and punched her with a closed fist.
The affidavit said Calderon also told hospital employees this incident had been going on for three days, and staff noted a lot of bruises on Calderon.
While in the hospital, the affidavit said anytime Calderon attempted to move in her hospital bed, she showed signs of being in pain.
Calderon told police she and Lopez had been dating on-and-off for about a year and that she came down to Portales from Carlsbad, and that Lopez had been abusing her for about a month.
The affidavit notes extreme bruising on Calderon, who later told police she was kidnapped, not allowed to use the phone or the restroom, and beaten with a golf club multiple times.
On February 28, Calderon, who was staying with her father after the incident, complained that she didn’t feel well. She was taken to the emergency room and then flown to Roswell, New Mexico, where she later died.
The affidavit states an autopsy performed the day after her death revealed the likely cause of death was necrosis of the tissue and she died as a result of the injuries ultimately caused by Lopez.
Calderon was the mother of three children, who Rust said are living with her sister-in-law in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Rust started a GoFundMe account to help raise money, in part, to cover some expenses her sister-in-law is undertaking in adopting Calderon’s children.
“I was barely getting settled here when this happened,” Rust said. “So with everything going on, they stayed with my sister-in-law so that way they weren’t put through more than they had to be.”
Rust plans to use the remaining money for a headstone for her daughter, and to give back a portion of the expenses to two people she said paid for her daughters’ funeral.
Rust said her daughter, Calderon, was a beautiful soul who always had a smile on her face.
“She would have gave the shirt off her back,” Rust said. “She always tried to help people in need and always made everyone laugh.”
Even more than the fundraising goal, though, Rust said she wants to bring awareness to domestic abuse and help someone who finds themselves in a similar situation as her daughter did.
“Domestic violence is a serious thing,” Rust said. “I want something positive to come out of my daughter’s story.”