PORTERVILLE, Calif. - The victim's family held a vigil Thursday night just after Santa Cristina Pablo appeared in court. Candles flickered as Sophia Caraveo's family remembered the four-year-old. They say her life was too young to be taken away.
Still devastated and in shock, Caraveo's mother, 19-year-old Dora Pablo says her little girl was full of life.
"She just loved to wake up every single morning. She woke up so happy," said Pablo.
But little Sophia did not rise Tuesday morning. Porterville Police say her aunt intentionally suffocated the child at her family's home on South G Street and Orange Avenue. Cindy Martinez says she's the suspect's godmother. Stunned by the charges, she says Santa Cristina Pablo helped raise her niece Sophia.
"We would always call her Santita. That's what Sophia called her. Santita. My Santita," said Martinez.
The victim's mother says her sister is dealing with mental health problems.
"She did ask me for help. I kind of shined it off and I know she didn't do this to hurt me or anything. She just had problems and I just hope they fix them. I don't wish nothing worse for her but I just want everybody to pay attention to their family members when they're asking for help because it's for a reason," said Pablo.
Pablo says her daughter was getting ready to enter kindergarten and was loved by many. On this night, a broken hearted mother sends a message to the light of her life.
"I love her and I miss her so much. I'm going to keep going for her. I'm going to keep being the happy mommy she loved me to be," said Pablo.
Sophia's viewing will be held on Monday, April 17. Her family is asking for help.
Here's the link to their GoFundMe page: www.gofundme.com/sophia-mae-funeral-donations