A Houston high school senior is fulfilling a promise to her late mother.
KTRK reported that 17-year-old Angelique Orta is fighting to keep her and her five siblings together after their mother, Sofia Martinez, was allegedly stabbed to death in front of the youngest four siblings.
According to authorities, their father, Felix Ruiz is the prime suspect and is currently being held on murder charges.
As a result of losing both their mother and father, the children have been split up, and Orta told KTRK that it’s hard not being with her siblings:
“I promised my mom that if anything were to happen, I would take care of them. And they would always be with me, no matter what. But now they’re not, and it’s hard because I’m used to seeing them every day.”
According to KTRK, the four younger siblings were released to Ruiz’s parents after some crime scene confusion. Their ages range between 7 months and 6 years old.
The paternal grandparents have been reluctant to share custody of the kids with any of Sofia Martinez’s living family members.
The grandparents only allow Orta and her sister to see their younger siblings once a week. However, they will not let any of Martinez’s relatives talk to the children.
They said after the loss of Sofia, they really want the siblings together. Sonia Martinez, Sofia’s sister, told KTRK she just wants to spend time with her nieces and nephews:
“If they knew their son was wrong, why keep the four kids away from the last of the family they have on this side. I would hug them, take them for pizza, and take them swimming.”
According to KTRK, Child Protective Services said this is a private issue and that it cannot interfere because there is no record of abuse toward the children.
Orta said she is willing to do what it takes to have her family together again, even if that means suing for custody of her siblings once she turns 18:
“It’s going to be hard, no matter what. But I’d rather struggle, to put a smile on their face and to be with them.”
She said even if she isn’t granted full custody, she at least wants to be able to spend quality time with her siblings.
“Even if they can’t live with me, I want visitation. I want to pick them up on the weekends, take them for their birthdays and holidays.”
KTRK reached out to the grandparents, and they declined to respond.