One week ago, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s officials say David McNabb brutally beat and stabbed his mother, Melanie McNabb, her boyfriend, Carlos Echavarria and Melanie’s daughter, Nicole, to death inside their Orcutt home.
Two Central Coast families thought the next time they’d all be together would be for a wedding. Now, just days into the new year they’re planning funerals.
Two of Carlos Echavarria’s sons sat down with KCOY 12 Central Coast News to honor and remember the man they say was the best father a man could have.
Melanie McNabb would often send videos to Carlos’s sons. Many of them show Carlos frying fish, smiling and laughing. Carlos loved a good fish fry but most of all, he loved his family.
“He taught me how to be respectful he taught me how to be loving compassionate and caring. He taught me how to be a good dad,” said Jason Echavarria, choking back tears.
A man of nature, the 63-year-old was an avid welder. He even traveled to Texas to build a BBQ pit for his son.
“We’d get off work together and we would barbecue we had good times,” said Jason, tearing up.
“He had a wonderful laugh that could be heard across the room,” said Kenneth Echavarria, his eyes lighting up with the fond memory.
So when Carlos didn’t answer his phone last Friday night, like he normally did, it broke Kenneth’s heart.
“I was holding on to every moment of hope I had, like OK maybe he wasn’t there or maybe he got away, who knows. You really don’t want to think that he was one even though your stomach is already turning,” said Kenneth. The Texas-based pastor says it still doesn’t feel real.
Despite the tragedy, Carlos’s sons find comfort in knowing how happy their dad was in his final months.
“He would call me on the phone because we would talk quite often and he’d always tell me, he’s like oh man son, I’m just so happy it’s like a dream,” said Kenneth.
“My father had been single for the past seven years so he was getting older, he was 63 and he thought he was going to spend the rest of his life by himself and when he met Melanie it really changed his life, he had such a glow to him,” said Jason.
Carlos had grown up with the McNabb family and had recently reconnected with his faith and Melanie McNabb. Carlos was close with Melanie’s late husband David and after losing touch over the years he
“When I found out that he had bought a ring over the holidays it was kind of like man it’s just hard I wanted to see that for him,” said Kenneth.
“Take out the tragedy of what happened there were two people, united, that were in love, that had plans on marrying each other, plans on spending the rest of their life and enjoying their companionship,” said Jason.
As the family grieves an irreplaceable loss, Jason wants to raise awareness for mental health issues.
“I do know there were precautions taken. I do know from what my father told me that they had issues, Brian had issues, never ever once he he talk about David,” said Jason.
Jason says he recently spoke with Melanie and she said despite David McNabb’s difficulty getting along with people, David loved Carlos and they shared a bond.
“Unfortunately in this situation we’ll never have an answer of why or what happened. I just hold onto the memories that I have with him I hold onto his happiness his joy,” said Jason.
While Kenneth says you can’t make sense out of something that is not sensible, Carlos’ sons say his legacy will live on through his four kids, 13 grandchildren and great-granddaughter.
“My memories of my father are that he loved his family, family was number one in his life,” said Jason.
Kenneth says a funeral will likely happen next weekend.
If you would like to help the Echavarria family, a Go Fund Me page has been set up. You can find more information here.