'Portrait of Valor' pays tribute to fallen Abilene police officer

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (KTAB/KRBC) - A Philadelphia-based police officer is paying tribute to fallen Abilene police detective Elise Ybarra through a portrait he created to donate to her co-workers, family, and friends. 

Jonny Castro, an 11-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, hand-crafted a digital portrait of Detective Ybarra for his 'Portraits of Valor' series, honoring the lives and heroism of fallen officers and military personnel killed in the line of duty. 

Castro says all of his works are done 100% free of charge and are given as a donation to the loved ones of these brave men and women who laid their lives on the line. He's currently getting together a shipment of Detective Ybarra's portraits to send to the Abilene Police Department and her family. 

Castro began his 'Portraits of Valor' series in May of 2016 after a newly-promoted Sergeant from his own police force was murdered before he got a portrait taken reflecting his new status. 

"I paint[ed] him in full uniform with the medals of valor that he earned," Castro told KTAB and KRBC. 

Since then, Castro has created 110 portraits as part of the 'Portraits of Valor' series and has also created a few portraits of civilian victims of violent crimes. 

"This project is just a way to get these officers' stories of heroism and valor out there and let people know that they were someone's husband, father, son or co-worker," Castro said.  "It's a way to give their families and departments prints of their portrait so that they can have something to display."

Detective Ybarra was killed in a crash involving two other Abilene police detectives on August 6, 2017.

The trio was headed to a Crimes Against Children conference in Dallas when their vehicle, driven by Detective Ybarra, was struck by a pickup on Interstate 20 in Clyde.

Detective Ybarra was pronounced deceased at the scene of the crash. The two other detectives, Detective Chris Milliron and Detective Robert Collins, were transported to the hospital and are expected to survive their injuries.

Anyone who wishes to leave donations benefiting the husband and 10-month-old baby girl of Detective Ybarra can get more information at this link.


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