Family of baby Sophia moves forward


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It has been more than a year since 27-year-old Laura Abarca was shot and killed.

Her 6-day-old daughter, Sophia, was found days later with a woman who police said admitted to the crime.

Now, Laura Abarca’s brother, Jose, is talking to KSN News for the first time since his sister’s murder.

Jose said he has been leaning on his family’s support to get through each day. He said in some ways his sister is still here.

“Me and my sister were really close. Sometimes, in life, the only road you’re given to travel on is the hard one,” he said. “Sometimes, you can see me normal, but sometimes, I can collapse and cry.”

The memories he has of his sister, he cherishes.

“She was a friendly person.”

But they also remind him of what happened to her. Abarca was shot and killed in her apartment. Sophia was taken. Police found Sophia in Dallas with a woman who is now charged with Laura’s death.

“You can see my sister in Sophia, but also Sophia is also something my sister left if you want to put it that way. When I am with Sophia, I miss her because that was her place. That was her place to enjoy her baby.”

Jose and his family are doing all they can to be there for Sophia.

“Actually, this is the first Christmas since the events that we actually try to come back to per say normal. We do it for Sophia.”

The second Christmas without Laura. Jose said sometimes she shows up.

“I can see she sends me signals.”

Jose wants his sister to know he is trying.

“That I miss her, and that we are doing the best we can to take care of her baby.”

Jose recently opened a siding business. L&S for Laura and for Sophia. He said it is one the ways he wanted to honor his sister.

The woman accused of killing Abarca is at the Larned State Hospital. Yesenia Sesmas won’t have her next court hearings until her mental competency exam is complete.

In addition to the Abarca case, she is also accused of taking a woman and her children hostage in the summer of 2016 in an effort to get money from them.

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