Family and friends of Springfield murder victim speak out

Krystal's family described her as a bright light that lit up every room.

Posted: Apr 8, 2020 7:55 PM
Updated: Apr 8, 2020 9:43 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore.-- The family of Springfield murder victim Krystal Jones is speaking out as they reflect on the person she was and the legacy she leaves behind.

It all began on Friday when Springfield police responded to a apartment complex on 2nd Street. This came after receiving reports of a possible gunshot wound. Gino Ugo Mattei, Krystal’s husband, was charged with murder and unlawful use of a weapon and was taken to the Lane County Jail.

RELATED: SPRINGFIELD MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER

Jones was transported to the RiverBend Hospital by an ambulance and later died.

“My daughter met this monster, and he found a chink in her armor,” Cannon Jones, Krystal’s father, said. “He exploited that. He murdered her. He took her and made her weak in every way that she was incredibly strong for others.”

Krystal's family described her as a “bright light” that lit up every room.

“She was always there for other people to help them through tragic times in her life,” Darlene Jones, Krystal’s stepmother said. “She was always a shoulder to lean on. She was so strong.”

Krystal leaves behind two young boys.

“It’s mind blowing that this happened to such a strong person,” Darlene said.

Her family shared that Krystal was extremely driven and involved within her community.

She was a caregiver, a safety officer for Lane Community College and she volunteered all over the county. She had even worked at Womenspace to help others in domestic violence situations.

“She took a women’s empowerment class where she graduated from," Darlene said. "She got some really good skills about how to empower herself and other women and to be a strong woman in the community."

Krystal’s family has a message for anyone who is involved in or knows of someone suffering within a domestic violence situation.

“If you find yourself in a situation where someone is controlling your money, controlling your phone, dictating to you who you can and cannot have contact with -- don’t keep it private," Cannon said. "Leave. There is help. Leave immediately."

Krystal’s sister, Gabby Howell, said that she feels the stay-at-home order did play a role in Krystal’s passing.

“I believe that the shelter in place did contribute to her death because there are a lot of abusers who are now stuck with the people they are abusing,” Howell said.

Howell said that it was terrifying to watch Mattei be so controlling of Krystal’s every move.

“Before my sister passed, she was trying to get a divorce from him,” Howell said. “It was the hardest time to get him to sign to the point where he would not sign at all.”

Howell described her sister as her “best friend” and said that she will forever be an advocate for those enduring domestic violence.

“It still doesn't feel real," Howell said. "My sister -- she’s gone. I’m devastated."

Amy Anderson has known Krystal since they were 13 years old.

“She tried so hard to escape,” Anderson said. "She had so much to live for -- her boys. It’s truly heartbreaking.”

Anderson shared her hope for those who find themselves trapped and in need of help.

“If this can just share hope and make them understand that there is someone always there,” Anderson said. “Keep going. Don't stop. Keep fighting.”

Ultimately, Krystal’s family shared what they hope others remember about the life she lived.

“She loved God with all of her heart," Cannon said. "It’s really important to our family that she be remembered as a believer in Jesus Christ.”

A memorial fund for Krystal has already surpassed its goal in just days.

Womenspace is a domestic violence service in Eugene providing assistance to those in need of help.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached here or at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

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