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Jenny Dillon’s wife reacts to arrest of man accused of her murder

On Wednesday, the Palm Springs Police Department and Riverside County District Attorney announced the arrest Luis Flores Cantor for the murders of Jennifer "Jenny" Dillon, 59, and Joseph Rajczi, 80. Authorities said both murders took place during burglaries at the victims' homes.

Athena Kelly has lived with the pain of losing her partner of more than two decades since Dillon was killed in January. 

Now with answers to lingering questions in this case slowly coming to light, Kelly says she can finally move forward toward closure and justice.

"I'm feeling relieved. I'm feeling thankful. I'm feeling like justice will be served," Kelly said.

Kelly said there were times she gave up hope that the person responsible would ever be caught for breaking into her home and murdering her wife. She says through nearly 8 months of heartbreak and unsolved mystery, it was the police's perseverance that led to Cantor's arrest.

Luis Miguel Flores Cantor

"Seeing that man's picture there what did you feel when you saw him," News Channel 3's Jake Ingrassia asked Kelly.

"I cried, I cried. It was a lot of emotion to see the person's face. To know that he was the person who destroyed our home and destroyed our life and so to see his picture was difficult but at the same time, I feel that finally, I can move forward and that we will have closure and justice."

Athena Kell. wife of jenny dillon

Kelly said she's left the valley since the murder and is working to sell the home where it happened... the memories just too painful for her to return.

Kelly & Dillon Palm Springs home

"Always wanted to live in Palm Springs. Jenny and I moved there 18 years ago. It was a wonderful, wonderful place to live. Wonderful people, wonderful community. That person took that away as well," Kelly said. 

And learning police believe Cantor killed another Palm Springs man, 80-year-old Joseph Rajczi, alone in his home, Kelly says she hopes one day to meet his loved ones.

"My heart goes out sincerely to his family and all the people that love him and know him and I'm really really sorry that it had to happen again," Kelly said.

Joseph Rajczi

The murder case is now headed to trial and Cantor could be eligible for the death penalty if it's pursued. Kelly says she and Dillon discussed the punishment, she doesn't support it. 

"I had said to Jenny, 'I don't know how I would feel Jen if that ever happened to someone that I loved.' And it has now obviously and I have to say that I still maintain my belief that I want this person to be in prison for the rest of their life," Kelly said.

The arrest and prospects of a conviction are now the sources of much-needed closure.

"I know that Jenny's spirit now can be at peace, that's what's most important," Kelly said.

The answers don't make the pain any easier, every day is still a struggle for those who love Jenny Dillon.

Crime / Local News / News Headlines / Top Stories / Video

Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.

KESQ News Team

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