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And it's an awful way to end it, but her story was beautiful besides the way she died," Stewart said. She had five siblings and attended Roosevelt High School. For the past five years, Hanian worked at the U. Postal Service, according to her obituary. Ames police found Hanian dead in a Mortensen Road apartment the evening of Aug. She had suffered multiple gunshot wounds, according to a criminal complaint. Oscar Chavez, 26, of Ames is charged with first-degree murder in connection with Hanian's death. Related: Ames police identify Des Moines woman found shot to death in apartment.
And she just had the biggest heart. Stewart, Hanian and their friend Hannah Jasso were inseparable as teenagers. They would pass notes in class and spend afternoons walking around Southridge Mall, goofing around as they tried on clothes. Jasso, who met Hanian in kindergarten, said the three drifted apart as they got older. But whenever they were able to catch up — usually over Applebee's or Mexican food — it was like no time had passed. Hanian was the type of friend who was always there to listen to you vent or help you out, Jasso said.
She was a "clean freak" who would come over to Jasso's house and put away her children's toys as the two chatted.
Hanian dealt with health challenges her entire life, including thyroid cancer and kidney reconstruction surgery. But Stewart said she never complained, remembering Hanian as "always positive and upbeat. Stewart last saw Hanian less than a week before she died, when they met to attend Sam Hunt's concert at the Iowa State Fair. The two shared a love of country music, which Stewart fondly remembers Hanian singing off-key whenever they went out in Des Moines. ly: Ames man charged with murder in connection with woman found at apartment.
Stewart will miss Hanian's "little quirks," like how she always seemed glued to her purse, even at her own house. At the concert, Stewart felt "so honored" when she was entrusted to hold Hanian's bag. The only thing that makes me happy is knowing that she is with her sister and her grandma," Stewart said. She gets to just be free and be Maria. Isabella Rosario is a public safety reporter for the Ames Tribune. She can be reached by at irosario gannett.
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'Our butterfly': Friends of Des Moines woman found dead in Ames cannot imagine a world without her