The parents of a slain Delta teen described their daughter yesterday as a passionate soul who had little patience for cleaning her room and who preferred instead to spend her time on a soccer field, studying or laughing with friends.
“Every parent’s nightmare is now our unthinkable reality,” said Rachael Szendrei, who — with husband Michael — spoke publicly for the first time about her murdered daughter and made an impassioned plea for information.
Laura Szendrei, 15, was attacked and beaten in Mackie Park on Sept. 25. She died hours later in hospital.
“Instead of filling the weekend with sporting and friend-related activities, we were called to the hospital where our daughter lay fighting for her life. We stayed with her and were all by her side when she died early Sunday morning.”
Laura, she said, loved soccer. Like most teens, she had little interest in keeping her room tidy and had an “uncanny” ability to wear you down if she wanted something.
The 15-year-old dreamed of being a nurse and helping sick children, and of being married and having children of her own.
She described their household as strict but loving, and said the tightly woven fabric of their family has been changed forever.
Michael Szendrei, a tough-looking man with a buzz cut and thin mustache, had tears dripping down his face as he described the birth of his daughters as some of the few moments of joy in his life. He spent much of the press conference clutching a framed school photo of Laura.
“As a father I am enraged that someone has taken my daughter Laura, who was precious and innocent and full of life. I loved her with all my being and she knew that.”