HOBBS, N.M. (KRQE) - She was a victim of domestic violence, but those closest to her say they didn't know it was happening.
A young woman was killed by her estranged husband in southeastern New Mexico nearly eight years ago. Today, her mother and the community are keeping her memory alive in a project aimed at helping people like her.
"She was such a wonderful person, and so many women are," Jan Lobeck, Sheri Snapp's mother, said. "They get stuck in this type of relationship, and they don't even realize it until its too late."
Lobeck said that's what happened to her daughter. Sheri was killed nearly eight years ago in Hobbs.
Her estranged husband, Chris Snapp, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for her death. He hit her with a telephone on the side of her head. Sheri later died from her injuries.
Now Lobeck and volunteers for Sheri's Memorial Fund are setting up a thrift store which will sell donated household items and clothes.
"It's been my therapy to be honest with you," Lobeck said. She said the whole idea for the store grew out of a small storage unit where she used to take donations for clothes and give them to victims of domestic violence.
But Lobeck doesn't just want to help victims in the short term.
"Well, alright, they leave a shelter and where are the going to go?" she said.
All of the money raised at the thrift store will go toward purchasing the House of Hope, Lobeck's dream of long-term transitional housing for victims of domestic violence to rebuild their lives.
"The most important thing for me is for them to learn what family life really is, and it's not violent," explained Lobeck.
Since her daughter's death, Lobeck has given presentations to promote awareness in domestic violence shelters.
She said every effort she's made to raise awareness for domestic violence has been met with support from her community, and this is an example of a big one.
"I do it in her memory, and I'm just hoping and praying that at least one victim, I can save one victim from dying behind closed doors as my daughter did," said Lobeck.
The House of Hope Thrifty Boutique is set to open on April 20. The goal is to purchase the House of Hope by next year.
Lobeck said they'll have volunteers including financial advisors and job counselors to help the women living there.
Additional information is available on the Sheri's Memorial Fund Facebook page .
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