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A teenager who was allegedly killed by her mother’s boyfriend Friday in Humble, Texas had placed frantic phone calls to her mother and sister in an attempt to get help before she was gunned down.
“She just wanted to get away, that’s all she wanted,” Keryca Harmon told KHOU of her 16-year-old sister Lauren Juma.
Juma had allegedly been home alone with her mother’s boyfriend, 60-year-old Van Brisbon, in the early morning hours Friday when Harmon said her sister called her asking for help.
“She just said he was being really weird and wanted me to pick her up,” Harmon recalled.
The teen had also placed a FaceTime call to her mother, telling her that Brisbon was standing inside her room in the dark and she wanted her mom to tell him to get out, according to court documents obtained by KTRK.
Her mother told Brisbon to leave, but the call abruptly ended when Juma screamed “Mom, he has a gun,” authorities said.
“I just know my baby called me on the phone ... FaceTimed me ... and she said 'Mom, help me’ and she hung up the phone. That's the last time I heard her voice," the victim’s mom, Laurie Young, told KHOU.
Her older sister went to the home on Canton Trace Lane to pick Juma up, but discovered that Brisbon was holding her captive at gunpoint inside the home.
When Harris County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene a few minutes later, they “heard gunshots as they approached the door,” according to a statement from authorities obtained by Oxygen.com.
Brisbon came to the front door of the home and was taken into custody.
“Van Brisbon was not cooperative with investigators and a motive for the murder is unknown at this time,” authorities said.
Prosecutors would later say in court that Juma was found dead inside the home with her pants down, KHOU reports.
Brisbon had also been seen pulling up his pants when he left the home.
Prosecutors have asked for a sexual assault test be performed on the victim in addition to the autopsy to determine whether she had been raped before her death.
Brisbon’s niece, who attended the court hearing on Monday, said she has been shocked by the allegations against her uncle.
“I love my uncle to death, I swear I do, but I will never be able to understand how he did something like this to Lauren,” she said through tears to KTRK.
Brisbon is now facing charges of murder. A judge has set Brisbon’s bond at $2 million, according to court records obtained by Oxygen.com.
Young—who had been out of town on a work trip with the shooting occurred—said she had been dating Brisbon for five years.
“He treated Lauren like she was his baby,” she said. “I don’t understand. He can rot in jail. He had no reason to take my baby’s life.”
Before her death, Juma had been a member of the cheerleading team at Nimitz High School and planned to one day join the military.
“She was really beautiful and had a beautiful soul and just wanted to go out and enjoy life all the time,” Harmon said of her sister.
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