Mother of murder victim donates daughter's clothes

LAS VEGAS - Nearly a month ago, Makayla Rhiner was a young professional. She had a job, a close group of friends and a limitless future.

On Aug. 3, Rhiner was killed, the victim of domestic violence. But her family is determined her legacy is not her death, but life, and learning from what happened to her.

When people go to S.A.F.E. House, they often have nothing. They are victims of domestic violence or afraid they may become a victim.

Sadly, Makayla Rhiner was not able to get help, but in death today, she provided it.

"Makayla's story is one of success," Lynn Pingol said. 

She showed remarkable composure, considering four weeks ago, her daughter was murdered.

"It's devastating," she said.

Makayla Rhiner, 21, died outside her southwest valley apartment. Metro Police says it was by her ex-boyfriend.

"Never would I have thought that we would become a statistic or be a victim," Pingol said.

She was a victim of domestic violence and that is what brought Pingol and her daughter's friends to S.A.F.E. House, a shelter for those trying to escape.

"We need everything," said Julie Proctor, S.A.F.E. House.

Proctor is executive director and showed 8 News NOW the warehouse.

"The clients that we serve come to us with nothing but the clothes on their backs. The children, the mothers, the fathers. They have nothing."

Now, they have more.

"It's kind of sad, actually," Proctor said.

These are Makayla's clothes.

"I want to show you a bit of what Makayla loved," Pingol said.

All packed up.

"Putting her stuff in a box," Pingol said. "The beauty of someone else being able to enjoy it. It was so bittersweet. It was hard. It was things. There's a memory to every outfit." 

But in her grief, Pingol says those clothes should go to someone else.

Someone who needed help her daughter could not get.

Someone who can make new memories of her own.

"It's very difficult time for her," Proctor said. "For her to reach out to us and want to help others, it honors her daughter and it honors us."

"She would want to see these on another person who would enjoy the fashion, the style. She would love it," Pingol said. 

She hopes to create a foundation in her daughter's name, and work with S.A.F.E. House to educate the public on domestic violence.


 


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