Jose Angel Garibay, the first serviceman from Orange County to die in the Iraq War, had a dream for his mother: to buy her a home.
The Marine corporal's family received $250,000 in life insurance after he was killed in 2003. They bought a house in Santa Ana later that year, putting down $138,000 for a modest place in a quiet neighborhood.
But times have been tough for the Garibays.
Simona, the family's mother and sole breadwinner, trusted too many people through the years.
The 59-year-old from Jalisco, Mexico, gave a friend $70,000 to open an account for her at a local credit union.
The account never saw the light of day.
The Garibays are $7,500 behind on three months' worth of mortgage payments. Crystal Garibay, 25, moved back from Phoenix a few months ago to help make ends meet.
"I told my mother that I will take any job," Crystal said. "If I have to take the bus to work, I'm going to. But we have to save the house."