Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday, February 6 in Missoula District Court in the murder trial of Emmanuel Gomez.

Gomez is being tried for the beating and stabbing death of his girlfriend Charlie Ann Wyrick, whose body was found in a ravine not far from the Pattee Canyon Recreation Area on December 27, 2015.

KGVO News spoke with the victim’s mother, Crystal Wyrick, after the final day of testimony in the trial, which she, her husband and her mother have attended every day.

Wyrick said the one theme that has been at the top of her mind since the trial began was obtaining justice for her daughter.

“They (the prosecution) have been doing an excellent job,” Wyrick said. “They’ve presented enough evidence and enough witnesses and they’ve done a great job representing my daughter.”

Wyrick recalled that she instinctively disliked Emmanuel Gomez from the moment they met.

“When I first met him, he was pretty quiet,” she recalled. “I didn’t like him, there was just something about him I didn’t like, I don’t know how else to explain it, I just didn’t care for him at all.”

photo by Peter Christian
Emmanuel Gomez

Wyrick said she realized her daughter was in real danger when a friend brought Charlie home to Helena in September of 2015.

“Her best friend went over and got her and brought her home and we sat down and she told us what was going on. We comforted her and talked to her and we begged her not to go back. She told us about the cigarette burns, the bruises, the clumps of hair that she said he pulled out. He called her names and beat her. Before October he hurt her ribs. Before the December incident with her ribs, her ribs were already hurting, and he would choke her, she did tell us that.”

Crystal Wyrick spoke of her own experience with domestic abuse that occurred when Charlie was a young child.

“It was quite a while ago, over 20 years ago,” she said. “Yes, after 12 or 13 years I was able to get away.”

Crystal Wyrick offered advice for any young woman involved in a domestic violence situation.

“Any guy that lays a hand on you, you should get away,” she said. “Because if you don’t, what happened to my daughter could happen to you. And, it will happen. Sooner or later it will happen, and you need to get away. There are lots of programs like the Friendship Centers in Helena. I’ve used them myself and they help keep you away from the person who does that to you. There are hotlines to call and the YWCA will help you, or just call 9-1-1 and they will protect you.”

Wyrick, who lives in Helena, walked through the days when she was informed that her daughter was missing.

“They got a hold of my mom and my mom called me to say that Charlie was missing on Christmas Eve (of 2015),” she began. “Then, one of my cousins called and said on Facebook that said someone had been found in Missoula who was a missing person, so I called (Missoula Police Detective) Stacey Lear and she told me that the phone call she had just received was that it was a definite ID of my daughter. I called the grandparents and the brothers, and as soon as our youngest got home we drove to Missoula. I contacted Officer Smith on Monday and he came over to our hotel and he went over everything that they had done. They told me where she was found, and about the stab wound in her chest. I was also told that they had arrested Gomez and he was going into (Missoula Justice) court that day, so we went to the courthouse for his appearance.”

Wyrick said the Missoula County Attorney’s Office Special Victims Unit, the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office and the Missoula Police Department have been exceptionally kind, keeping the family informed through every step in the process. The Crime Victims Advocates have been with the family throughout the trial, as well.

Wyrick and her family returned to their home in Helena on Friday, but will be back Monday morning for the closing arguments at Gomez’s trial.

As she said at the outset, ‘I just want justice for my daughter.’

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