Virginia Beach, Va. - Samantha Murawski's daughter Aubrey would have turned two Friday; however, Aubrey’s life was cut short.
"When she passed away, it was literally like someone had taken a chunk out of my heart," she says. It was a light that was extinguished at the hands of her live-in boyfriend.
“I would walk into her nursery and she wouldn't be there and I would have forgotten right after she had passed away that she's not in there," she says.
In January 2011, Aubrey was violently murdered and sexually assaulted by this man--24-year-old Micah Patterson, a former Virginia Beach sailor and Murawski's boyfriend at the time.
An autopsy found that baby Aubrey had 8 broken ribs, thumb prints on her hips, marks around her neck, swelling of the brain and bruising around her anus.
Thursday, Patterson was given a recommended sentence of life plus 60 years in prison.
"I finally feel a little bit of closure that my daughter can finally rest at peace and that he's never going to do this to another child or woman or anybody ever again," she says.
Her four-month-old baby girl is gone, but something tells Samantha that Aubrey is still there.
"After the first year she started sending me signs,” Murawski says. “I got lady bugs. She was a lady bug for Halloween. After that I started getting lady bugs everywhere."
Though she was only alive for a short while, for mom, it was enough to last a lifetime.
"I always feel her presence with me,” Murawski says. “She’s my life. There’s not one minute I’m not thinking about her. "
Samantha refused to take any questions about her relationship with her ex-boyfriend, or how he killed her daughter.