Remembering Vanessa Neves, a Mother, Friend, and Community Member


Photo By Wikimedia Commons

Ms. Vanessa Neves was a beloved substitute teacher at Spicewood Elementary School, and will be dearly missed by her family and friends.

By Selena Molinari, Yearbooker

Friends and family of Vanessa Neves, the 41-year-old woman murdered in her home three weeks ago, are struck with grief only few can fathom. On Tuesday, Oct. 26, at approximately 8:30 p.m, the Austin Police Department (APD) received a call from James Neves, Ms. Neves’  54-year-old husband, saying he had shot his wife and was in need of assistance.

Upon arrival at the scene, APD claims Ms. Neves was still alive and they immediately engaged in recovery protocol. Despite all intensive efforts to preserve her life, Ms. Neves succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

At the time of her death, her two children were at home but were reportedly isolated from the crime scene.

Vanessa was a beloved member of her community in Northwest Austin. While the community grieves the loss of such a valued member, it is also important to celebrate her life and her legacy. She was a woman who celebrated kindness, understanding, and love in everything she did.

“Ms. Neves was an amazing substitute at Spicewood. She filled in for my 5th grade teacher for a few days and had continued substituting for years. She’s the best substitute teacher I’ve ever had,” Scott Seamon ‘25 said.

Many students at Westwood had personal connections to Ms. Neves and were shocked to hear the tragic news. She will be missed dearly and remembered as a valued community member, friend, and ally.

“Mrs. Vanessa Neves was honestly one of the most thoughtful and caring people I knew. She was the person you went to if you needed advice, encouragement, or even a comforting hug,” Summer Jogee ‘24 said.

Ms. Neves’ story was posted on the National Gun Violence website as a tribute to the life she lived and the tragedy her passing was.

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