EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Nearly two years after his stepdaughter’s sudden death, Ronald Rasmussen is still feeling her absence.
“The pain … it’s a giant void inside of you,” Rasmussen told 12 News while visiting her gravesite Wednesday. “It just doesn’t heal.”
Rasmussen said nothing has been the same since June 6, 2021, when 24-year-old Krystal Geraldo was critically injured in a motorcycle crash.
Geraldo was riding on the back of William Botelho’s motorcycle when he lost control and struck a guardrail on Acushnet Avenue.
The North Scituate resident was rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries a few days later.
Botelho, 30, has since been charged with vehicular homicide by OUI.
“When he killed our daughter, he killed us inside,” Rasmussen said. “He took a very big piece of us away.”
Botelho pleaded not guilty in New Bedford District Court Wednesday. The judge opted not to hold Botelho and allowed him to keep his driver’s license.
Rasmussen said he’s frustrated with the judge’s decision to let Botelho go.
“This system isn’t designed for victims,” he said. “[Botelho’s] still going out and doing what he’s got to do.”
He questions why Botelho gets to spend time with his family, while his family’s time with Geraldo is spent at her grave.
“When we want to see our daughter we come here,” Rasmussen said looking down at her gravestone. “We spend time with our daughter this way.”
Botelho’s next court date is scheduled for March 6.