Katrina Segura Gonzales

Katrina Segura Gonzales and her daughters in 2011.

COURTESY PHOTO

LEAGUE CITY — Fourteen years ago, Leonard Segura was watching his daughter do something few girls would dare — the High Island High School softball star was trying out for the Galveston College baseball team.

On Wednesday, Segura was making plans for her funeral.

Katrina Segura Gonzales, 32, was killed Saturday, beaten with a hammer, police said. Her boyfriend, Felipe Fernandez, is charged with her murder.

“I just found out we can’t have an open casket,” Segura said Wednesday while finishing the details of his daughter’s funeral.

“We get to say goodbye to a box.”

Segura said his daughter was set to move out of the house she and her two daughters shared with Fernandez in League City and into a new apartment Monday.

While he knew his daughter had issues with her on-again, off-again boyfriend of three years, Segura didn’t think it would end in violence or her death.

“I never thought (Fernandez) was capable of something like this,” he said. “If I had known, I would have been there for her. I want justice for my daughter.”

Segura said his daughter was an outstanding athlete and creative, especially with arts and crafts.

He said the family was close, and since both lived in League City, he’d take them to church and just hang out.

Gonzales’ death was just another blow in the month of March for Segura.

Another daughter, his youngest, died in March years ago, after being alive just 22 months. He and his wife lost twins in March 1995.

“Of five girls, I have one left,” Segura said.

That daughter, Ashley Segura, 30, “has been my rock through all of this,” he said.

The outpouring of the community also has been some solace in a week of sorrow, Segura said.

He praised the League City Police Department, which from the start asked for the public to support the family.

“I have been overwhelmed with pleasure with those people,” Segura said. “They have done everything in their power to make sure this gets dealt with.”

Already, an anonymous donor has stepped up to assist with some of the funeral expenses. A local church and Segura set up a memorial fund at a local credit union, while a lifelong friend of Gonzales launched an online fundraising page.

“Any excess we have after the funeral expenses will go to those girls,” Kacey Vratis, a lifelong friend of Gonzales, said of the fundraising efforts.

Gonzales had two daughters Erin, 12, and Jenna, 5.

“I want those girls to grow up so they never have a care in the world,” Vratis said. “Kat was always someone who knew she would make something of herself and wanted that for her daughters. I want them to be able to fulfill whatever dreams they have.”

Vratis and Gonzales knew each other since birth.

“Her mother and my mother were actually in the delivery room at the same time at the same hospital,” Vratis said. “We both grew up on the Bolivar Peninsula, and that’s a very small community.”

The pair were in the same clubs and athletic activities, and both where cheerleaders at High Island High School.

After graduating, both went to Galveston College to study nursing.

Vratis said Gonzales had one particular lovable quirk.

“She would always finish a sentence with a giggle,” Vratis said. “Even if what she said wasn’t particularly funny, if she thought it was, she’d giggle, and everyone else would laugh.”

While Vratis lived in Winnie, and Gonzales was in League City, any phone conversation they had was as if the two lived in the same house.

“We could go three weeks without seeing each other, and we would pick up our conversation as if we had been talking all along,” Vratis said.

Vratis said the one thing she wasn’t aware of was any trouble with Fernandez.

“That’s what I am kicking myself about now,” she said. “If I had known, maybe there would be something I could have done.”

A visitation for Gonzales is scheduled for today in Winnie, while funeral services are scheduled for Friday at St. Louis Roman Catholic Church in Winnie.

Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or tjaulds@galvnews.com.


At a glance

A memorial fund to support Katrina Gonzales’ daughters has been set up by the family at any JSC Credit Union in the area. Donations should be made to the Katrina Gonzales Memorial Fund.

An online benefit fund also has been established. A link to that site can be found at galvnews.com.

(3) comments

Lars Faltskog

An example of a very bad thing that happens to a good person. Sometimes folks don't express that something's terribly wrong in their relationship because they feel they're "grownup" enough to handle it. That's why it's important if,even once, someone tells you his/her partner has come to blows and/or has exhibited extremely violent behavior (i.e destruction of expensive property, or of something he/she broke that can injure self or others as a potential weapon). That's the time to get out of the relationship - when threats and/or one or more acts of violence occur. Friends and family should not relent in telling the abused to "get out". No exceptions. and it's good to tell the abused victim that it's better to be alone than with bad company - that's a quote from many languages, and is sage advice.

JBG JBG

This is a primary example of what I have been harping on recently on this forum! What could cause a man to beat a beautiful human being to death with a hammer? What would cause an incident like this to take place at all?
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“I never thought (Fernandez) was capable of something like this,” he said. “If I had known, I would have been there for her. I want justice for my daughter.”
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These were words coming from the victim's father. Sometimes, getting in a relationship can be like falling into a pool of "QUICKSAND"....easy to get in but HELL to get out of!
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I've had to deal with those types in Houston personally! That, "If I can't have you nobody else will either" type relationships! These type relationships are volatile and deadly,..and they are out there! They are like a CASTRO AMBUSH,...the Viet Cong always loved to deploy in Vietnam! Easy to walk into, but one you WOULD NEVER GET OUT OF ALIVE. We were taught the best way to get out of one was to NEVER GET IN ONE!
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Parents and love ones should be vigilant and sober concerning relationships of their family members. Always anticipate the unexpected,..like sverige1 stated below,...look for the signs,...and trends,..for they will be there for those who really are looking.
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Here we had a five second decision, made in the soul/flesh of an individual, urging him to take the life of a beautiful young lady in a most horrific manner,...and in all probability will cost him his life too,...if not forty to fifty years without parole in State prison!
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To the family of this victim, I convey my sympathy and condolences. What a beautiful family.
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Joshua 1:9
"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."
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Psalms 30:5
"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
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Though a young life full of potential,..fun,...good deeds, and love has been cut short and deferred,.....you will see her again. Hold on to your faith and confidence, cast it not away, for it has great recompense of reward! God bless this family.


Lars Faltskog

I agree, JBG. And, there are evident "early signs" that a new relationship is doomed to failure, or worse. First, if the partner is expression suspicion and questioning your received phone calls (or texts), then that's sign #1 to get out. Along with this goes on and on questioning about why you're working late (are you really)? The icing on the cake that ought to tell a person that his/her mate is a potential powderkeg is when mate is jealous of your good relationship with your family. Mate not only doesn't want to be with you and family, but discourages your attendance to your family's functions.

That's not to say that we should expect for in-laws to all live in perpetual harmony. If your mate truly doesn't like or get along with your family, then at least he/she should allow YOU to go visit your family without questioning or "the third degree". Believe you me, these things are important signs that a bad relationship is not only worth the trouble, but can also escalate to more complications and danger.

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