RITA COSBY, HOST, 'LIVE & DIRECT': Police want your help in a horrible crime, a beautiful, bright graduate student kidnapped, raped, her body abandoned along a highway in Brooklyn, New York. And joining me is the victim‘s mother and sister, Maureen St. Guillen and also Alejandra St. Guillen, in their first national television interview. first of all, our prayers are with you. This must be an extraordinarily difficult time, and we really want to thank you for being with us tonight. And we hope that helps.
Tell us about your beautiful daughter. This story is just so heartbreaking, I just—it makes me so sad to see what happened.
MAUREEN ST. GUILLEN, IMETTE‘S MOTHER: Well, how do you begin to talk about Imette? Imette was a wonderful child. She was very loving, very caring. I don‘t want to focus on the brutality of her death, but I‘d just love for people to know the person that she was and how much she really cared for other people, how she loved her life. She loved living in New York.
She just—just everything about her—I—actually, it‘s really—
I used to call her La Rena (ph), you know, the queen, because just the way she carried herself and she really had such a presence about her. If you talk to anyone, they‘ll tell you that she was—she was just—she was like—when she walked into the room, the room just lit up. And she just made things fun, and you just felt so much better in her presence. She was a beautiful girl, but she was a bright girl and she was a good person, such a good person.
And I don‘t—you know, I really don‘t understand. But if anyone—anyone knows anything, regardless if you think it‘s significant or not, you know, the least little thing, something you might have overheard someone else saying, you might have heard it from—you know, like, just in passing, anything. I believe that there are phone numbers. If you could just please call—anything, whether you think it‘s important or not, it might be very, very important.
And you know, when crimes like this happen, it‘s not just the person that dies, it‘s an entire—it‘s the family. It‘s the neighborhood. It‘s everyone‘s life, a little bit of everyone‘s life, because, you know, you have to let your children live their lives, but this makes you want to just hold them back that much more.
And I just—I just don‘t know. I just—I know she loved New York, though, and she loved—she just loved life. She loved to travel. She lived so much in just a short period of time. I mean, she would have been 25. This Thursday is her birthday. And it‘s just not—just wasn‘t enough time. Everyone has lost something, not just us.
COSBY: She‘s a beautiful girl, and Alejandra...
MAUREEN ST. GUILLEN: She is beautiful.
COSBY: As we look at—as, you know, we were looking at these pictures, and so many people, I‘ll just tell you, are just so stunned and so horrified. What do you want to say to folks out there? Because we talked about—you know, I was out there today, looking at the scene, and there was that anonymous call. So someone clearly saw something, or maybe the person might be attached to the crime. What do you want to say to someone—the monster who did this, or someone maybe who just saw something?
ALEJANDRA ST. GUILLEN, IMETTE‘S SISTER: I would just—you know, I just think that it‘s so important right now that people—anyone who heard anything, who saw anything, like my mom said, whether they feel like it‘s significant or not—this was our baby girl and someone took her and hurt her in a really, really bad way.
And you know, she lived a wonderful life. She loved New York. New York was her home. She loved the people of New York. And just, you know, she deserves to have her—she deserves to have this person or people brought to justice.
And I would just plead with anyone who knows anything. Imette was so, so loving. And you know, her whole commitment to criminal justice and to - you know, just her belief in what was right, and you know, I just ask that people honor that and honor her commitment to justice and, you know, know that if she had seen anything—if this had happened to somebody else and she had seen anything, she would call and she would come forward.
And you know, we don‘t want to focus on hate. You know, hate breeds hate, and we‘re not, you know, here to curse anybody or anything like that, but the person who did this obviously, you know, needs to be brought to justice. This could happen again. You know, this could happen to someone else. You know, Imette, if anything, you know, to bring her some peace that this person doesn‘t do it again, that, you know, they caught him after he did it, you know, or them, after they did it to her.
We just—we love her so much, and our lives are so completely changed.
MAUREEN ST. GUILLEN: Forever.
ALEJANDRAST. GUILLEN: Forever. But you know, we—you know, just - you know, we just want to—we know that the police are working really, really hard.
MAUREEN ST. GUILLEN: And we want to thank them.
ALEJANDRA ST. GUILLEN: We want to thank them, and we want people to work with them because, like...
MAUREEN ST. GUILLEN: They need help.
ALEJANDRA ST. GUILLEN: ... like, you know, your criminologist, I forget his name, what he said is that, you know, this is—this is the time to call in. You know, as each hour goes by, and each minute goes on, leads could be lost. And I just—you know, we really—we support the New York police in their efforts, and we ask, you know, New Yorkers, you know, New Yorkers who Imette loved—Imette loved living there. Imette loved being a New Yorker. And you know, we just want—we just want, you know, justice to be done.
You know, we‘ll never get over this. We‘ll forever have, you know, this ache in our heart. But you know, no one else should have to go through this and...
MAUREEN ST. GUILLEN: No one.
ALEJANDRA ST. GUILLEN: ... I really, really just urge...
MAUREEN ST. GUILLEN: Anyone.
ALEJANDRA ST. GUILLEN: ... anyone with anything to please, please come forward.
MAUREEN ST. GUILLEN: Please.
COSBY: And Maureen, do you believe that this will be solved? Do have a sense? A lot of people I talked to, the good news is they have a sense that there are some pieces here. Do you believe justice is going to be served for your daughter?
MAUREEN ST. GUILLEN: You have to believe that because that‘s the one thing that keeps you going is that you have to believe that there‘s going to be justice for her. Yes, I do believe that it will be solved. I think they‘re working very hard to solve it. I really do.
COSBY: Is there anybody who would have done anything like this towards her, anything troubling her or someone stalking or bothering her?
ALEJANDRA ST. GUILLEN: No.
MAUREEN ST. GUILLEN: Not to the best of my knowledge. And I think—I think that she was so open that she would have told us.
ALEJANDRA ST. GUILLEN: Yes. She was—you know, she had—she was we were very close, a very close family. You know, we lost our father when we were younger, and just—we grew up—you know, the three of us, just really strong, really close. And anything—anything like that was happening...
MAUREEN ST. GUILLEN: She would have told.
ALEJANDRA ST. GUILLEN: ... she would have told us. She would have come forward. We just know that, you know, she would have said something.
And we‘re just—we‘re just hoping that someone out there says something, if they saw anything or know anything, just the smallest detail. She just you know, nobody deserves this. And you know, she was obviously very beautiful, but she was also...
MAUREEN ST. GUILLEN: Nice.
ALEJANDRA ST. GUILLEN: She was very nice and sunshine, and just everything...
MAUREEN ST. GUILLEN: Loving and...
ALEJANDRA ST. GUILLEN: ... everything you ever would want...
MAUREEN ST. GUILLEN: Kind.
ALEJANDRA ST. GUILLEN: ... in a sister, in a friend...
MAUREEN ST. GUILLEN: In a daughter.
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