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Parents of woman murdered in Sheffield Village say they feared for her safety

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 10:47 PM EST
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SHEFFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio (WOIO) - It’s been nearly a week since a young mother to four young children was gunned down in the parking lot where she worked.

In a 19 News exclusive, her parents, who feel she died at the hands of domestic violence, tell others to fight with all you have to protect yourself and your children.

Jessica Mojica is the mother of murder victim Milenna Eileen Lopez and is devastated beyond words about the loss of her oldest child, “Domestic violence is real, you know, a lot of people they don’t like to talk about it, but it’s real, we’re living it you know.”

Mojica and Luis Alvarez held each other’s hands as they prepared to bury their daughter.

The 24-year-old mother to two boys and two girls was shot and killed in the parking lot of the McDonald’s where she worked in Sheffield Village on the morning of Jan. 6.

She was on a break from work when detectives suspect her ex-boyfriend and father to two of her children, James Kimbrough, waited for Lopez to come outside, approached her car, exchanged words and then allegedly shot and killed her.

“We were concerned all the time. But sometimes victims get scared,” Mojica told 19 News.

The victim’s parents say even though their daughter tried not to show it, Lopez was concerned after she was granted at least nine protection orders against Kimbrough since 2018.

“I mean, she was worried every day, " Mojica said.

But safety concerns did not stop the Lorain woman from fighting to succeed in life.

Lopez was in school to become a dental assistant and was set to graduate in February.

She had also recently been promoted to General Manager at McDonald’s.

“You’d be surprised a 24-year-old; she loved to work. She wanted to provide her kids everything they needed,” Mojica told 19 News.

A beautiful soul with a smile, bravery, and strength, her parents say, often hid the pain of what she was going through.

Her dreams and lifetime were shattered allegedly by a man Lopez desperately wanted to escape.

“You never think you’re going to bury your child,” Mojica said through tear-filled eyes.

Now, the victim’s parents are telling others facing domestic violence to fight and make others listen, just like her daughter did, because her legacy is the love she had for her children, siblings, and family, as well as her strength.

“Don’t be afraid. I know it’s hard. Just keep calling the police and get help. If you spoke to someone and they don’t listen, go to someone else and just keep on going forward. And fight for yourself, for your children, and get help. Don’t let no one make you feel afraid of doing what’s best for you and your children,” Mojica said.

The victim’s father, Luis Alvarez, couldn’t fight back the tears as he talked about a child who had her life taken away before she even really had a chance to live it, “I want her back. I want her back. I want to see her smile.”

The suspect in Lopez’s murder is James Kimbrough, who is considered armed and dangerous.

U.S. Marshals and a fugitive task force are still actively searching for him in the Lorain woman’s murder.

Calling hours will be held Thursday, Jan. 13, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Sacred Heart Chapel at 4301 Pearl Ave. in Lorain.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Sacred Heart on Friday at 9:30 a.m.

Christian Burial services will follow the Mass at Calvary Cemetery in Lorain. Masks are mandatory during all services.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to an online fundraiser set up to assist the victim’s mother raise her children.

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