BRONX, New York (WABC) -- The mother of a young woman who was strangled and murdered in her home in the Bronx more than 20 years ago, is speaking out for the first time ahead of the sentencing for her daughter's killer.
"It's 23 years but it feels like yesterday," mother Dora DeValle said. "It feels like yesterday. All of the memories come back."
At the age of 19, Dora DeValle Almontaser was just beginning her life.
"What I went through, I want no mother to go through," DeValle said. "That's the worst pain. The worst pain. The worst pain."
In December of 2000, DeValle was unable to reach her daughter, so she went looking for her at her apartment in the Van Nest section of the Bronx, only to find her laying in the bed naked, strangled to death with a phone cord.
"And since that day, my life's never been the same," Devalle said. "He not only killed my daughter, he killed me too. I thought they were going to find him right away, I thought. But the years went by, the years when by, the years went by."
That was until November 2017, when 41-year-old Christopher Gonzalez was pulled over in Naples, Florida.
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With the use of newer technology, his fingerprints linked him to Almontaser's murder. He was extradited to the Bronx a month later.
"17 years? Tt took 17 years to find him," DeValle said.
But now in the system, a DNA hit also linked Gonzalez to the September 2005 cold case murder of 25-year-old Angel Serbay. She too, was strangled. Her body was cold heartedly dumped on the shoulder of Sprain Brook Parkway, wrapped in a blanket.
"I feel sorry for the girl, she got killed in 2005," DeValle said. "Because if they would have caught him sooner, like I said, when this happened, that girl in Yonkers would have been alive."
At the time of his arrest, investigators say Gonzalez was working in retail, married and had a child. He has since pled guilty to both murders and will serve more than 20 years for choking Almontaser and Serbay to death.
"Sometimes I still get mad, why didn't he get caught when this happened," DeValle said. "Why he got caught now, after he enjoyed his life. He had fun, he had kids. He celebrated all the holidays. All the days I missed my daughter he had fun."
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