"It's a long drive to put my mom in the ground": Family to bury murder victim
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A Tucson family begins a sad journey--one that takes them across state lines to lay their mother to rest. They do it taking little comfort in the fact that the man police killed her--her boyfriend--is behind bars. On the drive, they will remember a woman known for her kindness.
The 9-1-1 call came early Thursday morning. Tucson police arrived at a home north of downtown near Oracle and Drachman. Medics and investigators found Kimberly Tsonetokoy bleeding from the head and with serious injuries and "obvious signs of trauma." She later died.
Detectives found someone had assaulted the 45 year old while her daughter and granddaughter were in another room.
That someone, according to police, is 48-year-old Arnold Granillo, Tsonetokoy’s live-in boyfriend. He’s now in Pima County Jail, charged with murder.
9 On Your Side reporter Kevin Keen asked Tsonetokoy’s son, “Is there comfort that he's arrested, he's behind bars? “Not enough comfort,” Juan Soto answered. “That's not what he deserves. He deserves the same thing that my mom got. No, worse.”
Soto didn't want to talk about the man police say took his mother's life. Instead, he wanted to talk about his mother's life.
“Everybody liked her,” he said. “Everybody appreciated her.”
Tsonetokoy was a mother of six, a caring woman who's job, in fact, was to care for others. She drove a medical transport van in Tucson.
This weekend, Tsonetokoy's family will transport her remains for burial at a Navajo reservation in New Mexico.
“On your five-hour drive to that reservation this weekend, what will be going through your mind?” Keen asked Soto. “It's a long drive to put my mom in the ground,” he replied. “I shouldn't have to do that.”
“It's going to be a hard drive, but something I got to do,” Soto later said. “It's something she wanted.”
Granillo is charged with one count of second-degree murder. His bond is set at $500,000.
A special Chase Bank fund is set up to accept donations to pay for the long journey to the burial site. The account number is 895928646 under Juan Soto's name. "The family greatly appreciates the help of the Tucson community," a family member said.