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Mother of ASU Student Killed in Robbery Tells New Times "We Did Everything Right;" Pleads With Killer to Come Forward

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The mother of Kyleigh Sousa, the 21-year-old ASU student who was killed during a robbery attempt nearly two weeks ago, has a message for those responsible for her daughter's death: Do the right thing and turn yourself in.

New Times spoke to a somber Karen Montenegro, Sousa's mother, this afternoon. She says she and her family are coping with the loss but don't want the hunt for the killer to fade until he's been brought to justice.

"We did everything right," Montenegro says. "And someone just ripped her away from us."

Montenegro says she was a bit hesitant to let Sousa stay in Tempe this summer, as opposed to going back home to New Jersey, but she was convinced it would be all right after seeing her apartment and meeting her friends.

"She had a great group of friends, and her apartment was right near the police station," she says. "Everything seemed fine, and now we're just devastated."

Montenegro says she knew right away that something wasn't right when Kyleigh failed to text her the morning after the incident.

"We had the best relationship a mother and daughter could have," she says. " She would text me every morning."

On the morning of Wednesday May 26, though, Kyleigh never sent a text to her mother, and Tempe police responded to a call that a female had been run over near the International House of Pancakes on Apache Boulevard in Tempe.

Police say Sousa was approached by a heavy-set Hispanic male in a newer model, silver Chrysler 300.


Tempe police Sergeant Steve Carbajal told New Times last week the suspect is still at large but that police believe there may have been others in the car when the robbery occurred.

Carbajal says anyone who was in the car with the suspect will face serious charges, possibly murder if they don't come forward.

Montenegro's unsure whether there were others in the car but that if there were they may be the ones that can help bring the killer to justice, she says.

"To sit around day-after-day knowing Kyleigh's gone and not doing anything about it," Montenegro says. "The more time that goes by, the more guilty it makes them."    

Anyone with any information that could help police track down the suspect is asked to call Tempe police at 480-350-8311. 

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