A WOMAN has revealed how she found her daughter’s dead body after the teen’s ex-boyfriend stabbed her to death.
April Barbosa, 40, from Arizona, US, comforted her daughter, Rosaura Barbosa, then 18, when she broke up with her live-in boyfriend, Joshua Hilaire, 24, in May 2018.
The next day, April and her husband, Joe Barbosa, 40, dropped Rosaura off at Hilaire’s flat to collect her belongings.
Hours later, when they returned to pick Rosaura up, they found her, lifeless, in a pool of blood on the living room floor.
Hilaire pleaded guilty to murder in March 2020 and he was jailed for 20 years.
April, a stay-at-home mom, says: “My husband and I welcomed Joshua into our family and we grew to love him.
“We never thought he was capable of this. Holding Rosaura’s body that day was the worst moment of my life.
“The pain I felt is indescribable. She was my best friend.”
In November 2017, Rosaura met Hilaire at the shopping center where she worked.
Three months later, in February 2018, she told her parents they were moving in together.
April says: “Joe and I had only met Joshua once very briefly. We barely knew him.
“I just burst into tears. Rosaura was only 17 and I was worried their relationship was moving too fast.
“She reassured me she was a grown-up and that he made her happy.
“I had no choice but to give her my blessing. But deep down, I had a bad feeling.”
Soon after, Rosaura and Hilaire moved into a flat less than a mile away from Rosaura’s family home.
The next month, she brought Hilaire over for the first time.
April says: “To my relief, Joshua was a lovely guy and I grew to really like him.
“Before I knew it, he was over for dinner most nights and he became a part of the family.
“He played video games with the kids, got on well with Joe and even called me Mom.”
But within a few months, Rosaura broke down to her parents, complaining that Joshua expected her to do everything around the house even though she worked full-time.
April says: “I told Rosaura to just come home, but she loved him and didn’t want to leave him.
“The next month, she went on a trip to Disneyland without Joshua and called me crying.
“She’d found out Joshua had been texting one of her friends. She was devastated.
“When she returned home days later, she discovered Joshua hadn’t looked after her dog, Gizmo.
“He’d left him no food or water.”
That day, Rosaura broke up with Joshua.
Afterward, she called her parents to pick her up.
April says: “That night, even though Rosaura was upset, it was nice to have her home again.
“We cuddled and watched films as a family.”
The next morning, Rosaura needed to pick up her things from her flat.
April says: “Joe and I took her. We insisted on coming in but she told us not to and that she’d call us when to come get her.
“An hour later, I texted Rosaura, asking how things were.
“She replied straight away and said everything was fine and that they were talking.
“Just minutes later, she texted again, asking Joe and I come to collect her.”
April and Joe immediately left the house and drove to Rosaura and Hilaire’s flat.
But when they arrived, there was no answer at the door.
April says: “We couldn’t hear anything. I was so confused. I thought Rosaura must’ve left.
“I kept texting and calling her but there was no answer. Worried, I called the police but they weren’t helpful at all and said she wasn’t a missing person yet.
“It wasn’t like Rosaura not to answer her phone so I knew something was wrong.
“I called my mom, sister, brother-in-law and my son and they rushed over to help Joe and I look for Rosaura.”
April and her family spent the next seven hours searching for Rosaura before returning to the apartment.
There, they waited outside the front door, waiting for Rosaura and Hilaire to arrive.
April says: “Suddenly a neighbor appeared and said she’d seen Rosaura being dragged by her hair by Joshua earlier in the day.
“I was hysterical. My mom grabbed a metal club from our car boot, smashed Joshua’s window and I quickly climbed inside.
“Immediately I spotted Rosaura, lifeless, on the living room floor. She was in a pool of blood.
“I held her in my arms and sobbed my eyes out. I knew she was dead.
“Joe managed to bang down the door and went into shock. Joshua was nowhere to be seen.”
Soon after, the police arrived and April discovered Hilaire had stabbed Rosaura in the neck with a kitchen knife four times and once in the stomach.
Afterward, he’d fled the scene.
Two days later, Hilaire handed himself in.
In March 2020, Joshua Hilaire, 24, pleaded guilty to murder at the Supreme Court of the State of Arizona and he was jailed for 20 years.
April says: “20 years for taking my daughter’s life away wasn’t enough. I had so many questions, I ended up visiting Joshua in prison.
“When I asked if he killed Rosaura he just shrugged and said ‘Yeah I did it.’
“There was no sign of remorse at all. After that, I was suicidal and stayed in bed for months.
“I lost 90lbs and Joe had to feed me. I missed my daughter so much. Now, Joe and I try not to think about Joshua anymore.
“We don’t want to have hate and anger in our hearts. Instead, we focus on our beautiful memories.
“She’ll be in our hearts forever.”
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