By ANDY SEVILLA
Compassionate, loving, friendly and with a mission to make a difference in the world is how a father remembers the slain Kyle Police Department employee who was found shot to death in Bastrop last week.
“She wanted to do great things for people. She wanted to help people bring closure to violent crime and make them feel better about moving forward,” Kelvin Dean said of his late daughter, Samantha Dean.
Dean was the Kyle Police Department’s victim service coordinator. She was found dead Feb. 4 in a vacant shopping center in Bastrop. Preliminary reports indicate her cause of death was a gunshot wound.
“Even as a little child she use to say she wanted to make the world a better place,” Dean’s father said, adding that her loss has had a tremendous impact on the family. “It’s hard to put it in words, because for the most part we were all close. And with her dying so suddenly and tragically, there’s a huge void in the family.”
Bastrop Sheriff’s officials are investigating Dean’s death as a homicide. Officials said Tuesday they’re following up on leads, but no person of interest or suspect has yet been identified.
Dean was found dead lying next to a vehicle parked at the Shoppes at Colony Village, according to Bastrop authorities. Bastrop County Sheriff Deputy Bryan Reyes performed a routine check of the shopping center’s parking lot after spotting a “suspicious vehicle with its door ajar,” officials said in a news release.
Central Texas Autopsy performed an autopsy on Dean Feb. 5 confirming she was shot to death, however a final determination is pending further analysis and toxicology tests.
Dean was about six months pregnant when she was killed, according to her father. He said his granddaughter was going to be named Madeline, and that he knew that child was going to be very special.
“The family will never recover from this,” Kelvin Dean said. “Eventually we’ll be stronger from it … but there’s a void in the family now that cannot be replaced.”
In her professional role as a crime victim service coordinator, Dean provided comfort, information and help to victims of crime and their families.
Hays County Justice of the Peace Beth Smith, who often worked alongside Dean, said, “It was truly a huge help to me knowing that she would be there to help with explanations. I’ll miss her warm presence. That position really takes a very special person.”
Many Kyle residents and supporters have taken to social media to offer their condolences to the fallen worker.
“This is horrible to hear,” Rachel Perniciaro commented on Hays Free Press’ Facebook page. “Samantha helped me out when my husband passed away unexpectedly. She was such a kind and warm person. After having been through something so traumatic she was there to help in any way she could. So very sad.”
Countless residents from Austin to San Antonio stopped along I-35 Saturday to pay their final respects to the Kyle Police employee as she was escorted to San Antonio – her final resting place.
“I’m very humbled by it, and very appreciative,” Kelvin said. “It meant the world to the family and it did bring some comfort in knowing that she was a great contributor to society and our community.”
Dean’s funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Community Bible Church, and interment will follow in Sunset Memorial Park in San Antonio.