The memories of soccer games on the Crosby High School field will always remain vivid in Derek Ottman's mind because that's what he has left of his 16-year-old daughter, Chloe, who was murdered last month.
He's remembering her as a young woman with an infectious smile, who always had a hug to give or a laugh to share.
"Just being silly for the sake of being silly, and for the sake of being funny and just lighting other people up," said Derek Ottman.
Her father said the joy she gave other people was one of Chloe's best qualities.
"She really invested a lot in her friends, just being there for her friends, talking to her friends, if her friends needed anything, or if her friends were upset or depressed about something, she was always somebody who was um, just there for her friends," said Ottman.
That could have been the reason Chloe was there for her friend, Francisco Cruz
"I did tell her, you gotta be careful who you trust. You gotta be careful who you hang out with," Ottman said.
The two teens had taken a walk to Holy Land USA
last month. Cruz confessed to strangling Chloe when she refused his sexual advances, police said.
Derek Ottman has gone over the details many times, trying to make sense of a senseless crime.
"Is there a lesson to be learned here? And it kind of seems like it's repeating the same old lessons that we try to teach our kids," he said. "For boys, that 'no' means no, for girls that you just need to be careful and you need to know how and when to walk away from a situation," he said.
Francisco Cruz is still being held on $5 million bond. He will be in court on Monday, where he faces charges of capital murder and sexual assault.
Published at 8:20 AM EDT on Aug 16, 2010