Valerie Godoy was a local girl, once involved in theatre at Bowie High School, who later studied culinary arts in New York City.
She was 34-years-old when her life ended on the streets, at the hands of a murderer. Godoy was found beaten to death in Duncan Park in downtown Austin early Friday morning. Police say Godoy was often homeless.
At Auditorium Shores, a simple, unassuming memorial is displayed for members of Austin’s homeless population who fall victim to the streets.
The memorial caused Jordan Hayes to pause. The 22-year-old says almost as soon as she crossed into Austin city limits two weeks ago, she found herself homeless.
“Little things happen that you don’t expect. My brakes went out. My rotors needed to be changed in my car and things pop up,” she said. “It can be terrifying.”
Richard Troxell heads House the Homeless, the organization behind the memorial at Auditorium Shores. He said each year the number of homeless dying in Austin grows, as many as 137 died in 2011 alone--and they were all people with a story.
“The thing about Valerie is, she was somebody’s sister, somebody’s daughter,” he said. “Tragedy and hard times befall all of us.”
Austin Police say there are no updates in Godoy's murder case.
Local resources for the homeless