Courtesy photo Angel Vale, 22, was found shot to death outside her Portales residence Thursday evening.
Raymond Vale remembers his daughter as a dedicated, hard-working girl who wanted to help people and loved life.
Angel Vale was found dead Thursday evening in the sideyard of a Portales home she was renting. The 22-year-old Eastern New Mexico University student was shot three times, police said.
Police have arrested a 13-year-old neighbor in connection with the theft of a .22-caliber rifle and other items taken from Angel Vale’s residence. The boy is only accused of burglarizing the home.
Police have declined to identify the boy, citing his age.
Raymond Vale of Roswell said his daughter was excited about her coming marriage, planned for October, and was making plans for her future.
“She knew what she wanted and she was going after it,” he said. “She was very motivated; she knew what she wanted in life.”
Vale said his daughter was planning to become a probation officer in Las Cruces after graduation and had hopes of eventually going into law.
Angel Vale, a 2007 graduate from Roswell High School, was working her way through college and had received scholarships to help with her education, he said.
Raymond Vale said Angel loved her brothers and sisters and saw herself as a caretaker for them from the time she was a young girl.
Sunday, he said the family gathered in Roswell and remembered her.
“It’s hard. She’s still just as beautiful as she ever was,” he said tearfully.
And her loved ones are still in shock, he said, explaining he rushed to Portales the day his daughter’s body was discovered.
“This just happened and God knows why. I don’t know why, but (God will) let me know one day,” he said.
Vale said his daughter, who wanted to work with children, had interacted with the 13-year-old neighbor accused of burglarizing her home and had fed him meals.
When she recently returned from vacation and discovered her home had been burglarized, he said she didn’t know who might have broken in.
She didn’t report the burglary to police he said, but because of the incident, was concerned and was in the process of moving the day she was shot.
Police have said they believe the boy they’ve arrested had burglarized Vale’s home multiple times in the weeks leading up to the homicide.
Items belonging to her have been found in his residence, police have said.
The rifle, recovered from a trash bin in an alley near her home, is being tested.
Vale described his daughter as a loving, “very forgiving” person who would want her friends and loved ones to continue on in her memory.
“I don’t know what caused (her death), but I know that she would want us to be happy still,” he said.
“It’s going to be hard. I’ll never get over it … She was such a happy beautiful baby from the day she was born and I know that nothing really will bring her back. (But) she was happy.”
Vale will be buried in Roswell following a service Wednesday.