PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A Plano family is sharing for the first time their story of grief and recovery after the murder of a beloved wife and mother, Sarmistha Sen.
“The first thing they will say is about her is her infectious smile,” said widower Arindam Roy.
Anyone who enters his home can see how much his wife, Sarmistha meant to him.
“For us to kind of look around and feel her presence all the time… It’s important for people to know her story and what she stood for,” Roy said.
It’s been 52 days since Sarmistha went for a jog on a trail in the family’s neighborhood and never returned.
“We woke up and I asked the kids, ‘where is Mom’?”
Roy used a location-sharing app to look for her on the trail with his 12 and 6-year-old boys.
“We walked up there and found a place surrounded by police,” he said. “One of the detectives came in and he broke the news slowly for me.”
The 43-year-old wife, mother and cancer researcher was found dead from what authorities believe was a random attack.
“We are coping with it, we are trying to move on, every week is getting better,” Roy said.
Days after the murder, hundreds of pairs of running shoes were left at the scene to show support for the victim and her family.
A photo of that, along with dozens of others that surround the family’s living room, are one way the father and two young boys are preserving her life story.
Another is this moving YouTube video tribute that 12-year-old Neil made for his little brother to remember his mother.
“He doesn’t have many memories that he will keep I think this will help him,” said Neil.
A mutual love of singing brought Arindam and Sarmistha together.
That love is behind Arindam’s donation of $100,000 to a new cancer research foundation in his wife’s name.
“I could’ve used it for other things that was just not going through my mind,” Arindam said.
The widower matched $50,000 from a GoFundMe account and UT Southwestern added $400,000 in memory of their researcher who’s career was inspired by her own mother’s battle with breast cancer.
The family hopes the city will name a bench along the jogging trail after Sarmistha, and next year hold a 5k walk or run in her honor.
“That will help keep Sarmistha’s memory forever in a good cause,” he said.
A suspect, Bakari Abiona Moncrief, 29, was arrested and charged with her murder.