Investigation continues into shooting death of college senior at RM 620 apartment

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

The investigation continues in last week’s shooting death of college senior Natalia Monet Cox at the Colonial Grand at Canyon Pointe apartments on the northern edge of Four Points.

The 21-year-old senior at Huston-Tillotson University was a biology major and a leader on campus and in her sorority. Cox was on her way to becoming a plastic surgeon, something she recently decided, according to her obituary. It stated she wanted to “help victims who suffered any type of disfigurements.”

But those plans changed abruptly on March 31. The 911 calls came in around 2:43 a.m., according to the Austin Police Department. Callers reported the sounds of a door being kicked in at 9715 N RM 620. They also reported hearing several gunshots, a woman screaming and hearing someone running, followed by a car leaving in a hurry.   

APD officers arrived on scene and observed that the front door to an apartment appeared to have been forced open. Officers entered the apartment to clear it and found Cox in one of the bedrooms with what appeared to be gunshot wounds to her body. Cox was unresponsive, APD shared.

“Officers began to administer lifesaving measures until Austin-Travis County EMS arrived. EMS assessed the victim but unfortunately she was pronounced deceased at 3:04 a.m.,” according to APD. 

APD homicide investigators and crime scene personnel arrived on the scene and began to investigate. 

The next day her college posted: “Huston-Tillotson University mourns the tragic loss of our graduating senior, Ms. Natalia Monet Cox. Born in 1999, Natalia was a biology major assiduously on the path to realizing her dream.”   

Colette Pierce Burnette, president of HTU, personally extended her deep condolences and prayers to the Cox family. Additionally she stated: “Natalia was a brilliant and spirited young woman whose rays of light illuminated and brought warmth to every individual she encountered — Natalia Monet Cox, you are forever missed.” 

Her obituary shared that recently, Natalia and her sorority sisters of the Alpha Kappa Chapter traveled to east Austin to deliver over 200 COVID-19 protection care packages that included masks, water, hand sanitizer, scarfs, gloves, hats, small blankets, jackets, and Pampers.

“Natalia was known for educating the community on topics of fitness, veganism, sustainability, and minimalism. She passionately spoke on diversity within her hometown community of Melissa, TX,” her obituary stated, “and recently found joy in making customized wigs for cancer patients that lost their hair during chemo treatments.”

Friends shared their thoughts via the GoFundMe page and Facebook posts showing the true character of Cox. 

Sophie Meglio stated “Bus rides and walks around the neighborhood during middle school would not have been the same without you. I wish I could’ve talked to you more. Distance and time can be an enemy but know I thought about you often.” 

Parker Danielson posted that “she was my best friend ever since I moved to Texas, one of the kindest and whole-hearted people I have ever met.” 

Cox went to Melissa High School, located northeast of Dallas. 

Madison West shared that Cox was one of those people that spread her kindness through everyone she met. 

“I will never forget going to school with her and getting the chance to know her and even after so many years of not seeing each other still being able to support each other whether that be through fitness goals or just pure kindness,” West posted.

Tammy Sorrels Murphy posted that Cox and her daughter were friends in high school and cheered together. “My heart truly breaks for all who knew and loved Natalia, a beautiful soul gone way too soon.” 

Cox’s Facebook page shows a post from her in November 2018, as a college freshman: “Want to help me celebrate my birthday by supporting a good cause? I’m raising money for Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary because their mission means a lot to me… every little bit helps.”

According to KXAN, friends shared how Cox always wanted to just make people’s lives’ better. 

“The goal of Natalia was to make other people happy,” said Natalie Courtney. “She was also really prominent in trying to push for diversity where it wasn’t.”

One friend, Jessica Gonzales, recalled a time where she helped a complete stranger during a rainstorm, KXAN’s report said.

“There this one time we were driving around and it was pouring down rain. She told me to pull over. She ended up giving her letterman to this homeless man. She was just always that person to go above and beyond,” Gonzales said.

In another post, Emma Raney described Cox as “an absolute joy to be around and was nothing but positive and uplifting…  She had the ability to create such a positive atmosphere.” 

Kelly Conrad Simon shared that Cox was an enthusiastic, driven, and accomplished student. “The world is poorer without her.” 

Verchiel Od worked Cox and described her as beautiful and bright. “My heart aches for this unjust loss.” 

Helen Mofor shared that Cox had a big impact on everyone’s life. “We will live to remember. Your footprints are in our hearts forever.”

“Natalie Cox was a light in the world that will never be replaced. She was destined for pure greatness,” said Claire Morrison in the KXAN report. “She was one of my biggest role models and inspirations, and I know many would say the same.”

On April 16, a visitation will be held and on April 17 will be the funeral at 4 p.m. at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home Chapel, 2525 Central Expressway North, Allen, Tex.

The Travis County Medical Examiner’s office is conducting an autopsy on Cox to determine the official cause of death.     

Homicide investigators are developing leads towards identifying a possible suspect. The case is still being actively investigated.   

Anyone with information can call APD Homicide at (512) 974-8477. A $1,000 reward is available for information leading to an arrest of Austin’s 20th homicide of 2021.