DEVINE, Texas — When deputies first responded to distress at this Divine doorstep, they had no idea they'd return following a deadly situation weeks later.
That first cry for help came Memorial Day weekend from Jessica Sanchez.
"She started crying - she was like, 'Jorge pulled a knife on me and put it to my throat,'" explained her brother, Danny Ramirez, who found out about the incident days after it was reported.
Documentation from Devine Police Department showed an emergency protective order was filed by Sanchez against Jorge Jaramillo on May 27, 2019. It cites a domestic dispute with a knife at the property.
Sanchez's explanation to the police brought clarity to her family, who had noticed a pattern of unusual behavior for months.
"She wouldn't show up to functions or parties or anything that had to do with outside of their families," said Ramirez.
Ramirez said he had been unaware of the gravity of the abuse because it didn't always show.
"He would tell her what she could wear, what she couldn't wear. Ask who she was looking at...call her ugly, call her fat," Ramirez had learned. "It was just an obsessive relationship - more of a jealousy, all the way around."
Ramirez said his sister began attending more family gatherings after breaking up with Jaramillo and filing the protective order against him.
But that protective order may have given Sanchez a false sense of security.
"[The protective order] protects them at their residence by stating that the defendant can't go within a certain amount of feet of their residence," said Medina County Justice of the Peace Judge Glenn Klaus.
Protective orders for small towns like Devine, Castroville and parts of Lytle are filed at the Medina County Jail after perpetrators are arrested. The order can apply to homes, schools, and places of employment for 60 days. Medina County has received nine protective order filings this year.
"In a small town, it works a little better," Judge Klaus said. "[Police] know where everybody lives, they know what everybody drives. If they see this person's vehicle in the drive, they're subject to come see what's going on."
The person will be arrested the order is violated, but that threat doesn't always work. "It is not a bulletproof shield," said the judge. "Do not get into a state of comfort."
That warning is meant for the victim, and those who know them best.
"I guess more could have been done if she had spoken out. If she would have spoken out, and told family what was going on," Ramirez said.
Ramirez said his family hopes to encourage other abused women to come forward and seek help.
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