Losing a loved one is never easy. Losing a loved one to what police are treating as a possible homicide is something Stephanie Ibbott doesn’t wish upon anyone.
“How could anyone do this to such a beautiful person,” Ibbott questioned in a phone interview with the Hope Standard. “Trina is so special and so loved, and who would ever want to hurt her?”
The phone went silent.
“I’m still getting used to saying was instead of is,” she said.
Ibbott is the cousin of Trina June Hunt, 48, who police have said was last seen by her husband on Jan. 18. Her remains were found in Hope in on March 29.
She has spent the last few months experiencing a darker level of sadness than she ever imagined possible.
“And anger, more than I ever imagined possible,” she said. “Anticipation too, just constantly being on edge, waiting for the phone to ring with news.”
Ibbott described Trina as bright and vivid. She welcomed everyone with open arms and was someone people gravitated to. She was meticulous and organized and at the same time flexible and accommodating, putting the needs of everyone else before her own.
“She was such a unique person,” Ibbott said. “One thing people who knew her always felt was that you could see a sparkle in her eyes, and that’s why we’ve made a promise to never let her sparkle fade from the world.”
A Facebook group was created after Trina disappeared. At first it was meant to help coordinate the search for her, but has since become a place for 8,600 people to celebrate who she was and keep her memory alive.
“We’ve had a lot of people saying, ‘Thank you for letting us get to know Trina. We have fallen in love with Trina through the photos and stories you’ve shared about her,’” Ibbott said. “It’s been such an awful time, but to hear the feedback from people who loved Trina as well has been really touching.”
Going down memory lane, Ibbott has been running things through her mind over and over and over, trying to see if there were any signs of what was to come in Trina’s “perfect life.”
Anything to make sense of the senseless.
She hasn’t come up with anything, making it impossible for her mind not to wander and speculate.
“It takes a lot of focus and re-framing my thoughts to try to not go down a dark hole, because it’s really hard to get out of it once you go down there,” she said. “We had people say, ‘It’s nice that you get closure,’ after Trina was found. No. There will be no closure or working through the stages of grief until we have that answer.”
Ibbott said the family is so grateful for the support they’ve received, and are asking anybody who was in the Hope area the weekend of Jan. 16-17 to look in the backgrounds of photos, or check dash cam or home security cameras.
“Revisit everything to see if there is even one little thing that stands out that can help lead us to answers.”
Ibbott also renewed the family’s plea for Hunt’s killer to come forward, though she admitted it’s likely to go unheeded.
“It’s sad enough that Trina had to suffer like she did, but to make her family suffer as well, it’s just time to do the right thing.”