BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Like the tragic memories scarred in their minds years ago, Thursday was another day the families of the victims of Derrick Todd Lee will never forget.
"It's bringing back memories," said Sterling , Jr., brother of Trineisha Dene Colomb. "It's a happy day but it's a sad day because it brings back all the memories of what happened 12, 13 years ago."
That's how long it's been since the Colombs last saw the 23-year-old. Sterling Colomb, Sr., her dad, and Sterling, Jr., her brother, are carrying mixed emotions.
"I'm kind of in disbelief because I've been waiting for this for a long time," said Colomb, Sr. They're happy to hear the killer is dead, but overwhelmed to revisit the case.
"When I first heard, I cried," said Colomb, Jr. "I didn't know if I was happy or sad." Dene, as she was best known, was found beaten to death in a field near Lafayette. Three days earlier, Lee kidnapped Dene while she was grieving in a cemetery over the recent loss of her mother.
That was November 2002.
It was a long wait to get to the news Thursday.
"He's not here anymore. He's not here to harm anyone, anymore. Nobody has to worry about him anymore. We can use our taxpayer dollars, like people would say, for something of better use," said Colomb, Sr.
The Colombs say, like her father, Dene was in the military, serving about two years in the Army and planning to join the Marines.
"She was outgoing and she liked to experiment things, travel," said Colomb, Sr. "She wanted to travel because she was teaching herself different languages."
While her killer's time on this Earth is up, her father and her brother, cannot call Thursday closure. They say it's just not that simple.
"It can't be a closure. I don't see it as a closure because she's not with me," said Colomb, Sr. "I basically, don't want to see it anymore, me personally," said Colomb, Jr. "I wish it would just be a short story, bury it and be over with it. "Even after all this is over with, people talking, 'Oh, Derrick Todd Lee died, Derrick Todd Lee died,' but we still have to live with the fact that our loved one is gone."
Dene Colomb was the seventh woman Lee is believed to have attacked. DNA evidence linked Lee to her murder.