LYNNWOOD—Another victim of that New Year's Day torch attack in Puerto Rico died today, bringing the death toll to six. The news came as hundreds gathered in a Lynnwood church to honor the lives of a local couple that died when the suspect doused his home with gas, and set it on fire.
Kate Donahue and Jesus Sanchez got engaged over the holidays and went to Puerto Rico so Kate could meet her future in-laws. The couple was on cloud nine until that awful attack. Saturday friends and family remembered the couple and their love story.
It was not the type of celebration they had planned to hold for Sanchez and Donahue in 2011. "I am sad and i'm angry that I have to read this not at her wedding, but here at her memorial," Aunt Patrice Lee Moore said. The Seattle couple planned to marry in Kerry Park this summer
Christopher Vinson said Sanchez was a fun and loyal friend. "I never got the chance to tell him that Jesus was like a brother to me," Vinson said fighting tears. "He was the best friend I ever thought I would meet."
Nobody talked about the tragedy in Puerto Rico that claimed the lives of 6 people including Kate and Jesus. Investigators say, on New Year's Day an uncle doused his home with propane and kerosene and then lit a torch while family members were gathered inside. "I'm really grateful to have had a chance to be with her, Jesus, and the families in Puerto Rico," friend Kelli Glascow said.
Saturday, loved ones struggled with sadness and anger but promised to honor the couple.
"I wonder how we will survive this suffocating grief, but I look out and i know we will survive," Moore said. "Their spirit will be with us forever and it's our job to continue to let their spirit live through us," another friend shared.
A Facebook page and memorial fund have been set-up to help the couple's families.
Authorities have accused Justino Sanchez Diaz of pouring gasoline on his family and then setting them ablaze with a torch. So far, he faces five counts of murder. A sixth charge will likely be added for the most recent victim who passed away Saturday.