HOUSTON - One year before a balloon release gathering at his gravesite Sunday afternoon, 35-year-old Christopher Hinton-Mena was shot in the head in a Walgreens parking lot around 3 a.m. However, his body was not discovered by police until 6:15 a.m.
The loss of Christopher Mena is pain only a mother like Marnita Hinton could understand.
"It hurts. It hurts so bad," she said. "What if it was your child?"
After her son was killed a year ago, the Houston mother has created social media pages and spent the last of her savings to bring attention to his case.
"They laid him on the ground, and they put him in a body bag. It was a terrible thing to know that my child was gone," says Marnita Hinton. "It still hurts. It feels like a sting in my heart."
Hinton says November 13, 2020, her son got off a 16-hour security guard shift before going out with a cousin and some friends. In the early hours of the next morning, he was too tired to make it home and pulled over his Jeep at the Walgreens on Cullen Blvd. and Reed Rd. and fell asleep.
"You saw my child out there and didn’t even say nothing [sic]," said Hinton.
She added how she received reports from people who saw her son slumped over in his vehicle and did not call the police.
"It wasn’t right for you to pass my child up," Hinton said. "He could’ve still been alive today."
Mena’s mother says police were able to piece together what happened using surveillance video.
"They kept driving back-and-forth and saw him asleep," she said. "Then, they went somewhere and parked and came back on foot, and shot him and robbed him."
Surveillance also captured a 2007-2013 black Malibu and someone jumping the fence in a camouflage hoodie.
Mena’s mother says she spent the past year passing out fliers and digging for leads. She says she finally gave the last of her savings to community activist Quannel X who came back with two street names of possible suspects.
She then found Facebook profiles that matched those names and descriptions and sent them to detectives but hasn’t received an update on her son's case.
Mena also says Chief Troy Finner with the Houston Police Department called and assured her they were looking for suspects, as the family prays for a crime stoppers tip from anyone who might know who killed Chris.
"Tell him what they’ve done to my child. Please turn him in," begs Hinton who hopes this past year will be the last her son's killer walks free.
If you have any information about the murder of Christopher Mena, please call (713)222-TIPS. You could receive a cash reward.