Brandon Portie's daughter Kyra lost her mother when she was just 2 years old.
Bridgette Gearen, a single mom from Orange who worked as a legal assistant in Beaumont, was raped and murdered on Crystal Beach in 2007. The person or persons responsible were never found.
"Six years of not knowing, it wears you down," said Portie in an interview with 12News Thursday afternoon.
Portie was engaged to Gearen at one time but the couple as separated just before her death. Kyra, now 8 and about to enter the 3rd grade, doesn't remember anything about that terrible day, but there's one thing she does know.
"I want her back," she said.
Sadly, her mother can't come back, but Kyra and her dad may soon get something else they've desperately wanted: Answers.
Galveston County investigators say they now have a person of interest in Gearen's murder, a man currently in prison on an unrelated charge. His name is not being released at this time. Investigators believe several men were involved in Gearen's murder, and hope the person of interest will lead them to the others.
"Finally," Portie said. "When we get this to trial and get this over with I'll feel much better, but at least they have someone in jail they're talking to."
Gearen's death changed Portie and Kyra's lives forever.
"(Kyra) wasn't going to have a mother anymore and I was left with both duties myself," Portie said.
Portie says despite her loss, Kyra is a very happy child. The two now have renewed hope that Gearen will get the justice she deserves.
"What they did to her, I know it can't be done to them but they need to be punished to the full extent of the law," Portie said.