Anna Ysasaga has never given up hope in finding justice for her son.
The Lubbock woman has spent the last 7 years in and out of courtrooms and in the public eye asking for justice for her 15-year-old child, Mark.
The boy went missing on the evening of June 14, 2012. Mark Ysasaga was last seen on security footage at the Walmart on South Loop 289 and Quaker that night.
He is believed to have gone to a home near 27th Street and Flint Ave. in the Tech Terrace neighborhood. His body was found nearly 3 years later under a pile of debris in South Lubbock. The man who eventually would become a person of interest in the case led police to the body in exchange for a Crime Line reward of $10,000.
That man, now 23-year-old Christian Castro, is jailed in an Abilene state prison for an unrelated crime. He is expected to be released in September.
Castro’s former roommate, now 24-year-old Jose Simental, was at one point charged with Ysasaga’s murder. In September 2016 that charge was dropped in exchange for a plea agreement that saw Simental accept guilt for fabricating and tampering with evidence in the case.
Simental is currently held in the state jail in Childress and has a projected release date of May 2022, nearly 10 years after Mark went missing.
In her impact statement at Simental’s trial, Anna Ysasaga told the court the pain of Mark’s death “never leaves me. I’m haunted by recurring nightmares of the horror that Mark suffered.”
That sentiment remains as another year passes. “As June 14 gets closer and closer it’s getting harder for me to breathe,” she said in an open letter on her Facebook page. “I love you son to the moon and back a million times over.”
In a statement, Anna Ysasaga said waking up Friday morning hurt her heart deeply. “7 years ago at 6:58am was the last time I heard your voice,” she wrote. “And I always replay it over and over in my mind.”
Ysasaga went on to vent her frustration at how long it took to find her son’s body, and that Castro only told police “just to get out of trouble.”
Castro was arrested on aggravated kidnapping and robbery charges the week before Mark Ysasaga’s body was discovered. Those charges were dropped after the arrest report was deleted. Former Lubbock Assistant Police Chief James Shavers was suspended and eventually demoted due to the incident.
Anna Ysasaga ended her statement with a promise to her son that she would see justice for him “one day.”