It has been five years now since 18-year-old Kyle McElroy of Troup was kidnapped, then murdered. 36-year old Desiree Dawn Lingo-Perkins was the mastermind of the kidnapping and was on the run until her capture in October. Last week, she was given a life sentence for capital murder.
"There were days I didn't even feel like getting out of bed or just living," says Kevin McElroy.
He and Kyle's mother, Faye, were always looking over their shoulder, wondering when the woman who plotted the kidnapping and the murder of their son would be brought to justice.
Justice began in October when Desiree Dawn Lingo-Perkins was captured along the Texas-Mexico border. On Wednesday, a jury found her guilty and sent her to prison for life.
Faye McElroy: "Knowing that she's not out on the streets and knowing that Kyle got some sort of justice [has helped]."
The McElroy's would have prefered a death penalty case, but the Rusk County District Attorney has said intent to kill would have been difficult to prove. Kevin McElroy says Lingo-Perkins showed little emotion, never saying she was sorry.
"It is evil and the devil has took them over and that's why she had no remorse," Kevin McElroy says.
"A shot in the arm and go to sleep is too easy for what they did to my son. I think they're going, she's going, to have a hard life in the pen, and she's not going to forget Kyle's name," Faye said.
To that end, she looked Lingo-Perkins in the eye and spoke from the heart.
Faye reads from her statement delivered in court: "Kyle never got a chance to live, to marry, have children and a future he never got to experience. There's nothing that I can think of that would be justice for what you have done. Deep in your heart, I hope you feel some sort of pain and emptiness everyday for the rest of your life."
With the life sentence, Desiree Dawn Lingo-Perkins will be eligible for parole in 40 years. Three other men who were convicted of their parts in the crime have also been sent to prison.