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WATCH NOW: Candlelight vigil planned for ‘Justice for Stephanie’ founder
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WATCH NOW: Candlelight vigil planned for ‘Justice for Stephanie’ founder

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ELKO – Friends and family members of Lidia Cortes will gather in her honor Saturday evening for a candlelight vigil at the Herrera Sports Complex.

Cortes, who died Sunday, was well known for crime victim advocacy following the murder of her daughter Stephanie Gonzalez in June 2011.

The search for Gonzalez’s estranged husband, Eduardo Estrada-Puentes, was featured on “America’s Most Wanted” in 2012. Meanwhile, Cortes and other family members began raising funds for reward money.

Estrada-Puentes was arrested in Mexico in 2014, found guilty of first-degree murder in 2016, and sentenced to life without parole.

Pedro Marin describes the Justice for Stephanie organization and plans for a candlelight vigil for Lidia Cortes.

“Now my baby girl can be at peace. We have ‘Justice for Stephanie,’” Cortes said at the time.

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She went on to organize “Justice for Stephanie,” a nonprofit organization that advocates for victims of domestic violence.

“Lidia would show up for court hearings for victims,” said her son-in-law Pedro Marin. She also hoped to one day build a domestic violence shelter for both male and female victims.

Her efforts galvanized the community and members of law enforcement in their efforts to prevent domestic violence

Marin is organizing the candlelight vigil for Cortes, noting that she organized many herself on behalf of her daughter. Justice for Stephanie also raised funds through an annual softball tournament.

Board members plan to continue the organization “and will continue to do everything Lidia had as a goal,” he said.

“She loved to help out with domestic violence victims, and we will continue to do that. We know that’s what she would want us to do.”

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