Family Works to Celebrate the Lives of Those Killed in 2004 Robbery

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It is a crime that touched the entire community of McKinney.

The 2004 murders of Rosa Barbosa, 46, Mark Barbosa, 25, Matthew Self, 17, and Austin York, 18, took years for police to solve.

Now a father with a family of his own, Alex Barbosa was 18 years old and a senior in high school, when his aunt, brother and friends were senselessly killed, murdered during spring break 2004 in what police called a botched robbery.

“It’s 16 years later and I can still remember everything like it was yesterday,” Alex Barbosa said.

As another somber anniversary approaches, Alex is focused on celebrating his aunt and brother’s life by raising money to establish scholarships in their honor.

He wants to recognize a young woman who shares his aunt’s independent and giving spirit and a young man who shares his brother’s passion for sports.

“Mark was definitely that guy who would do whatever he could to help,” Alex said.

In the last week the Barbosa family has raised nearly $4,000 in mostly small donations from those who supported the family during their darkest days.

“Even now 16 years later – old coaches, old teachers [reach out],” Alex said. “It’s not just us, but it affected a lot of people and I would want them to know that it is appreciated.”

Barbosa said he is hopeful the scholarship could one day grow into an annual gift and be a way to give back to a community that supports his family and honors two people who left a lasting impact.

In past years, the McKinney Education Foundation has awarded scholarships in memory of Self & York to graduating McKinney North students.

It took several years for McKinney police and Collin County prosecutors to bring the case to trial.

Investigators said the robbers targeted Rosa Barbosa, 46, because she worked at a check-cashing business. On the night of March 12, 2004, the robbers forced their way into her home and demanded money. Her nephew Mark and friends Matthew Self and Austin York walked in on the robbery. All four were killed.

Eddie Ray Williams remains in prison after pleading guilty to the charges. Raul Cortez remains on death row after standing trial for capital murder.

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