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Slain 13-year-old remembered as peacekeeper, fighter

Posted December 12, 2012

— A teenager from Sampson County who died over the weekend following a shooting at her father's home outside Clinton is being remembered as a peacekeeper among her friends and as a fighter on the soccer field.

The Sampson County Sheriff's Office says Larissa Estrada, 13, died Sunday at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill after her father, Edwin Estrada, shot her before killing himself Friday night.

The case has left teachers, classmates and friends reeling from the news.

"She was out of this world," Marcelle Powell, Larissa's eighth-grade math teacher at Hobbton Middle School in Newton Grove, said Wednesday. "Every task she was given to do, she did it to her absolute best ability, and it was always to perfection."

Powell said Larissa didn't like fussing or drama among her fellow students and tried to keep peace between them, if necessary.

"She was just a precious, sweet child and a tremendous loss to our school," Powell said.
"Her only aggression was fighting on the soccer field for a win."

Larissa played forward and midfield for the 98 CASL Chelsea, an elite team for her age group.

"Larissa definitely was somebody who had as much passion for the game and her teammates and her team than anyone I've been around," said her coach, Damon Nahas.

Larissa Estrada Slain Sampson County teen remembered

Even for the team, Larissa's death is not just a loss on the field.

"The thing is, she made us all better people and made us happier, and we have to remember all of those things," Nahas said.

Classmates are also remembering her.

On Monday, they released balloons in Larissa's honor and wore purple – her favorite color.

They also set up a memorial by a tree in front of the school, with written messages and yellow ribbons on the tree in her memory.

"She had this certain laugh that was her. It was just so unique," Larissa's best friend, Madison Warren, said.

Authorities have not discussed a motive for the shooting.

Larissa's brother went to his father's home on Friday night to find his sister after she didn't return to the home they shared with their mother.

When no one answered the door, authorities say, the brother forced his way inside and found Edwin Estrada dead from a gunshot wound and his sister slumped over.

A visitation is planned for 10 a.m. Thursday at West & Dunn Funeral Home in Newton Grove. She will be buried at noon Thursday at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, also in Newton Grove.

"We all know where she’s at. She’s in a very good place," Warren said. "We just miss her. I will always miss her. Every day, I will think of her."

9 Comments

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  • iknowmyschnitzel Dec 13, 12:56 p.m.

    "hope his reward fits." (ccsloop)

    What??? He's dead. Did you read the story?

  • Grand Union Dec 13, 12:16 p.m.

    "Why in the world would he do this. It sounds like a very selfish, vindictive act."

    Well suicide is said to be the ultimate in selfish acts ... I know what the suicide of my Brother did to my Parents. People who commit suicide are usually mentally ill and one cannot really know what their thought processes were unless they write them down which is rarer than the TV would suggest.

  • ltstegal Dec 13, 10:20 a.m.

    Love & prayers going out to her mom, Alicia, brother Edwin, family, Hobbton community and especially the 8th grade class at Hobbton Middle! Larissa was a wonderful young lady with a heart of gold! May they all find comfort knowing that Larissa is watching over them with that huge smile! Rest in Peace, Larissa! You will be missed by many!

  • ccsloop Dec 13, 8:59 a.m.

    Why in the world would he do this. It sounds like a very selfish, vindictive act. Hope his reward fits. Prayers to the brother, mother, and any other family and friends.

  • alwaysCool Dec 12, 6:31 p.m.

    Prayers for the family

  • westernwake1 Dec 12, 6:22 p.m.

    My prayers and sympathy to her family, friends, and teammates. This entire situation is so tragic.

  • luvstoQ Dec 12, 6:16 p.m.

    So sad to take the life of your own child. It looks like in the twisted (obviously) mind of the father, it was a last *punishment* to the mother. The poor brother that found her, and the mom that lost a precious daughter. I cannot fathom the horror she and brother are going through.

  • tiggerjd3 Dec 12, 6:14 p.m.

    RIP sweet angel!! The whole community loves you and will miss you dearly!!!

  • Uhavenoclu Dec 12, 6:13 p.m.

    Learn what she taught and showed everyone. Love joy happiness and strength. And carry it on so she will never be forgotten.