Family of Yolanda Reyes reacts to official murder charges

Posted at 10:41 PM, Feb 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-19 23:27:28-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. --The family of Yolanda Reyes is reacting to the prime suspect in her homicide being officially charged on Thursday. The charge for murder came just moments after Shawn Jarrett was found guilty of raping an elderly woman in Grandville.

Yolanda Reyes was found dead in May at a construction site weeks after she went missing in Walker. Jarrett was considered a prime suspect in the case, until today's formal charges were filed.

"It's really sad to know that someone like him was just out, you know after what happened with Yolanda and he was still able to hurt somebody else," said Xeomara Montenegro, family spokesperson.

The family of Yolanda Reyes said that while they welcome the news of an official murder charge against the main suspect in the mother of four's homicide, it does once again stir up emotions that have never been healed.

"They know that it is going to be hard for them to go through this process, but at least they will know that justice is served for her," said Montenegro.

Jarrett has previously served 30 years in a Pennsylvania prison after being convicted of murder. He was released in 2012.

"Just trying to understand how could that be possible that he was just with her in the time that she worked at the green house, and you know probably he was already planning the whole thing. They just don't know, you know if he was just everything planned or if it just happened," said Montenegro.

Reyes' family said that they had been keeping a close eye on his most recent trial for rape.

"The family and everyone has just been paying close attention, just to make sure that he was going to stay behind bars," said Montenegro.

Reyes' family said that they know it will be hard emotionally to take the stand if Jarrett does stand trial for Reyes' death, but said that they will do whatever it takes to make sure justice is served not only for Reyes, but also her children.

"Their mom is not with them anymore, so it is hard, but at the same time they are trying to stay focused and positive that you know that a better outcome will come from this," said Montenegro.

Reyes' family also said that detectives on the case have always been just a phone call away, constantly keeping them updated, so they are thankful for all of the law enforcement involved.