School helping children of murdered mother - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

School helping children of murdered mother

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Fundraising efforts are under way for three little girls who lost their mother last week.

The school is calling attention to upcoming fundraisers for the children of 37-year-old Leonor Castillo, who are now being raised by their grandparents.

"It's terrible. I can't imagine having someone tell my children I'm gone," Palomar Elementary Principal Erika Taylor said.

Taylor says counselors have been on hand this week at the school following Castillo's death. Her ex-husband Cesar Castillo is charged with her murder.

Leonor's friends say her three girls were everything to her, and with a new man in her life, she was the happiest they'd ever seen her.

"She finally found someone who loved her. Her boyfriend just loved her. She asked the girls first for permission, is it OK if i start dating? They said yes we love him," a friend said.

Prosecutors say last Friday, her former husband repeatedly hit her with his truck in a jealous rage, killing her. The girls were with their grandparents at the time, waiting for Leonor to come home so they could decorate the tree together. Their grandparents will now care for them.

"I'm a mother of three myself. The financial impact of having children, the grandparents I'm sure are on a fixed income, retired," Taylor said.

The school is holding a fundraiser December 18 at the Elks Lodge in Chula Vista. Taylor hopes raising awareness about domestic violence will help prevent another child from losing a parent.

"If we can find a way to save one more parent, then that's what we're gonna do," she said.

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