Funeral services are planned for this weekend for a U.S. Navy lieutenant from Anaheim who authorities say was killed by her ex-boyfriend in Moreno Valley in a murder-suicide.
Ruth Cortes, 40, was fatally shot in the driveway of her aunt’s house on Oct. 30 by 36-year-old Santa Monica attorney Aravon McCalla, who then turned the gun on himself, Riverside County sheriff’s deputies told CBS2.
“People were calling us and they were asking what happened,” Cortes’ sister Judith Spirtos said. “And instead of saying, `Oh my gosh what a loss,’ they were asking for details. Don’t ask me how she died. Ask me how she lived, and I will teach you how to be a better person — because that’s what she did.”
A physician’s assistant in the Navy, with a master’s degree in health, Cortes served tours in Afghanistan and Guam.
Spirtos said she chooses to focus on her sister’s legacy instead of her last moments.
“When you start thinking about those things, then you get stuck on the wheel of, `What could I have done?’ And it just becomes a wheel of, `What did I miss? How did I let her down?’ It doesn’t give me her back.”
A funeral will be held for Cortes Saturday at St. Justin’s Church in Anaheim. She will be laid to rest in Orange with full military honors.