ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Months after the murder of a young woman who witnessed a robbery near a local park, an Albuquerque school is starting a new effort to remember the memory she left behind.
An aspiring oral surgeon who was known for her hard work in school, 21-year-old Cayla Campos’ name is on a new scholarship helping dentistry students in financial need.
“It’s an everyday struggle, you know, to lose a child is something no parent should have to go through,” said Carl Campos of his daughter Cayla. “I mean, at 21 years old, she did touch a lot of lives, but she had so much more to give.”
Cayla was murdered in a shooting at Bianchetti Park near Lomas and Tramway in October. APD says Campos witnessed a nearby robbery and was shot as she tried to drive away.
While no one has been arrested for her murder yet, Cayla’s family is confident justice will be served after meeting with prosecutors today.
“(Prosecutors) are definitely moving in the right direction, getting everything they need together to make sure we’re don’t only have a proper arrest, but a conviction after,” Campos said.
In Cayla’s memory, her teachers and mentors in dentistry gathered at Pima Medical Institute Friday night, celebrating a new way to help students.
“Everyone is family to Cayla, and so we were just trying to figure out what we could do,” said Kimberly Haight of Parkway Dental.
Kimberly and her husband Michael Haight operate the Parkway Dental practice and gave Cayla her first job in dentistry. Alongside Pima Medical Institute, the couple is funding a new scholarship in Cayla’s name to help students pay for a special certification they need to get a job.
The first two recipients of the scholarship, Marissa Swan-Hanna and Nicholas Kurtz were honored with the award during a ceremony Friday.
“It makes you proud as a parent to know that your child did touch that many lives,” Carl Campos said.
The scholarship will be given out to at least another 19 students at Pima Medical Institute, but organizers are hoping to keep it going well into the future.
The man being investigated in connection with Campos’ murder, Izaiah Garcia remains in custody. He’s been charged in the separate shooting death of Sandia High School student Sean Markey. No charges have been filed in Campos’ murder case yet.