A pregnant U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer -- allegedly slain by her estranged husband – was laid to rest by friends and family Saturday.
Part of that family includes people Maribel Arteaga served alongside.
“It is always difficult to lose a fellow officer,” CBP spokesperson Angelica De Cima said. “I have been told that Officer Arteaga had always dreamed of working for CBP from a very young age.”
Witnesses say Jesus Arteaga Garcia, 28, knocked on the victim’s apartment door Dec 10. just before 8:30 p.m. on Santa Alicia Avenue in East Lake. When she opened the door, he stabbed her with a long-bladed knife.
The 28-year-old was two months pregnant. The couple's two children, ages 6 and 4, were home at the time of the attack.
Garcia fled the scene. Arteaga later died at the hospital.
“We honor the sacrifices that CBP Officer Arteaga made through her honorable service to our country, and pray that her family be granted strength as they deal with the loss of a mother, daughter, and sister,” De Cima said.
Officer Arteaga had been assigned to the Tecate port of entry since May 18 when she entered on duty with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“For a mother of two children, this is not the easiest job to come to everyday; having to balance the needs of your children and the demands of work,” De Cima said. “She is a one of the heroic souls who made our security and the freedom that we too often take for granted their life's work.”
The 28-year-old was the first person in her family to graduate from college. She attended San Diego State where she received her degree in criminal justice.
“Officer Arteaga was one of us and that is her legacy,” De Cima said. “Her memory will be honored in the places she lived and worked, and by the people she touched.”
The children are currently under the care of the family.
Garcia remains at large, investigators believe he may have fled to Mexico.