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Plenty of blame to go around Carlos R. Davalos | Sat, Nov 13 2010 12:00 PM

Of the many things to be thankful for during this coming holiday, one in particular comes to mind: when I was 10 months old my mother wasn't brutally killed by her ex husband.

The same can't be said for the 10-month-old daughter of Diana Gonzalez.

On Oct. 12, Gonzalez, 19, was stabbed and left to die in a community college bathroom.

Her alleged killer is 37-year-old Armando Gabriel Perez, Gonzalez' estranged husband.

Authorities believe Perez fled to Tijuana, Mexico.

During a Wednesday night fundraiser for the Gonzalez family, friends and supporters of the victim were still trying to sort out who bears responsibility for the predicament we're in.

Yes, we.

Perez may be the person who snatched away Diana's young life and left her daughter motherless, but like everything else in this world, nothing happens in a vacuum.

In the days that followed the gruesome homicide, it was revealed that Perez and Gonzlaez had a violent history. So much so that after Perez had kidnapped Gonzalez earlier this year, she filed a restraining order against him.

For some reason, though, kidnapping charges against Perez were never filed. And let's face it, restraining orders generally work only on people who are reasonably rational. Not ones who are prone to violence.

Understandably, people want to know why. Why wasn't Perez behind bars? The District Attorney's Office and the San Diego Police aren't saying much, citing an ongoing investigation.

Former San Diego CityAttorney Casey Gwinn published a scathing editorial in The Union-Tribune saying the woman's death was predicatble and preventable. But the system failed.

The sobering truth is, as creators and overseers of the justice system, we failed.

And we're running the risk of continued failure the longer Gonzalez' killer is not in custody.

What happened to Gonzalez should not be forgotten any time soon. Her death could just as easily happen to your relative, neighbor or colleague, be they residents of National City as Gonzalez was, or North County.

Political pressure needs to be applied to achieve two goals: Most importantly making sure that another death like this one never happens again. And secondly, finding out how this happened in the first place. That's a question only the D.A. can answer. Hopefully someone from National City, Gonzalez' hometown, will get the answer.

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