AUSTIN (KXAN) - Family and friends gathered Tuesday to pay their respects to a 29-year-old teaching assistant killed on New Year's Day.
Esme Barrera was found dead inside her rental home on King Street in Central Austin, and her funeral was held Tuesday in El Paso.
Austin police have not arrested anyone for her death, but they released a sketch of someone who may be connected to the crime.
The sketch is of a man who may be responsible for the attack on a woman near Barrera's home 30 minutes before her murder was reported, but they have no evidence he was involved in the killing.
Two other women were attacked in the area on the same day. Still, Austin police will not say all of the attacks are connected because there is no known witness to Barrera's killing.
Police have stepped up patrols in the area and are going door to door to talk to people about safety.
Both pages and the account have the sketch of the person of interest in the case and are relaying information of other attacks in the area. The page titled "RIP 'Esme' Barrera" was created by a woman who did not know her.
Also, an symbol was created of a hand -- of which the outline spells Barrera's name. The form of the hand is best known as the "rock 'n' roll" hand or "I love you" symbol in sign language. The logo was designed by Charlie Chauvin, the brother of one of Barrera's co-workers.
Barrera's co-workers at Waterloo Records spoke to KXAN Tuesday and are putting together a reward for any information that leads to the capture of her killer.
"There is only so much you can do in terms of dealing with the family's issues and making sure that their funeral expenses and everything else...some of us just felt that what we could do perhaps was have a financial stake in this thing and at least offer a reward," said Don Davis, Esme's former co-worker at Waterloo Records.
Davis worked alongside Esme for three years. A few workers gathered up enough funds to travel to El Paso to attend her funeral.
Buttons with the symbol made in Esme's honor will also be available at the store shortly. Other employees that are in bands are spearheading benefit shows this week in Esme's honor.
"She was just one of those people you meet who is seemingly flawless. She just had so many friends everywhere. You just don't meet that many people like her and unless you knew her, you just have no idea how incredible and positive and uplifting she could be," Davis explained.
Co-workers are having t-shirts made in Esme's memory that they will wear at the store.
Davis hopes to have his reward information up and running within 24 hours.
Benefit concerts to be held in Esme's honor include:
- Benefit for the family of Esme Barrera at the Scoot Inn on Thursday, Jan. 12 from 7 p.m-2 a.m. Cover is $5-10, with all proceeds going to Barrera's family. Follow that Bird, Love Collector and The Dead Space and more are set to play.
- GSMG + 3 Rules + Frontier Bar present: A Benefit for Esme Barrera on Jaunary 15 from 3 p.m.-2 a.m. at Frontier Bar off Webberville Road
- The Austin Memorial for Esme Barrera on January 15 at 2 p.m. at Fiesta Gardens
- A Night for Esme on January 28 at Beerland.
Family and friends held a vigil Wednesday at the State Capitol in hopes that a Bastrop man can win a new trial.
An unusually cold blast of arctic air arriving early Thursday will be followed by an increasing chance of freezing drizzle/rain and sleet by Friday morning.
The HealthCare.gov website is working more smoothly for central Texans.
City leaders in West Lake Hills discussed the ongoing concern with the city's water system Wednesday night. The problems arise when water is needed most; fighting fires.
Federal, state and local authorities on Wednesday arrested 15 people and seized 70 firearms in raid on a methamphetamine operation based in Burnet County.
Former Georgetown Police Officer Stephanie Brown said her ex-boyfriend, former Round Rock Officer Eric Poteet, made up accusations against her after she broke up with him.