LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Still reeling from the pain, relatives of a Las Vegas nail salon owner said they are still coming to terms after losing 38-year-old Rizza Abrera to domestic violence.
8 News Now sat down with her family and hope others will notice the red flags before it’s too late.
The family of Rizza Abrera remembered the mother of four who was killed in June by her ex-boyfriend, 41-year-old Steven Evans, according to police.
“She was an amazing woman. She left a hole in our hearts in our lives,” Ricamyr Bautista said.
“Upon going into the residence, they located the male in a room with a gunshot wound to his head and they located the female, unresponsive,” Metro Lt. Jason Johansson said the night of the tragedy.
According to police, it started as a kidnapping, then turned into a standoff at a home in the southwest Valley. It ended in Abrera being killed and Evans taking his own life. Metro recently reported on the dangers officers also encounter while responding to domestic disputes.
“Because the truth is we have to get the victims help and out of a situation so it doesn’t end up in a deadly encounter,” Metro’s Assistant Sheriff Sasha Larkin said.
As for families like Rizza’s, Bautista still found the strength to talk about the loss of her sister.
“I still cry every day. It’s hard to be able to talk about her without having too much emotions,” she said.
“She wanted to do so much for the kids,” Bautista said when asked what she wanted people to know about her sister. “She wanted to give them so much all these plans to travel.”
Rizza’s daughter, Yreena Nicholas, told 8 News Now her mother was a victim of domestic abuse.
“Everybody is labeling my mother. ‘Oh, she did this to herself’ and everything. That’s not right,” she said.
Now, she wants to raise awareness.
“I feel like nobody talks about it enough. It hurts to make an example out of my mom,” Nicholas said.
Bautista and Nicholas said Rizza had filed a restraining order against Evans. Clark County court records show the case as sealed.
There are other cases as well under their names. Rizza had two separate charges in 2023 for domestic violence and child neglect, both dismissed.
Evans was charged with burglary, attempted murder with a deadly weapon, and domestic violence. Those charges were also dropped.
Nicholas confirmed the couple’s past.
“It was always pretty difficult between them since the very beginning,” she said.
Both Bautista and Nicholas hope their loved one’s story helps others.
“I hope it translates the truth about domestic abuse overall. Besides my mom, its always been a problem,” Nicholas said.
“Love yourself and have the courage to move on because if you don’t it could be the end of your life,” Bautista shared.
According to the National Institute of Health, family and domestic violence is common in the United States affecting about 10 million people every year.
For a list of local and state resources for domestic violence and abuse victims, visit this link.