Killeen mother pleads for more mental health resources after daughter’s death

On July 22 2022 Eliana Shoemate was struck by a car on Elms Road in Killeen. Her mother said she needed mental health help.
Published: Jul. 25, 2023 at 6:36 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - It’s been a little more than a year since Eliana Shoemate, 24, died after she was hit by a car.

Shoemate’s mother, Connie Munos, said her daughter was diagnosed with PTSD, depression, schizophrenia and an intellectual or developmental disability.

Munos served as her daughter’s primary caregiver until her death last year. On July 22 2022 Shoemate walked out of her family’s Killeen home then hours later was struck by a car on Elms Road.

”She had the mentality of an 8-year-old,” Munos said. “When she left the home she packed her clothes and packed her socks.”

Munos said in the days leading up to her daughter’s death she said things that didn’t add up.

”She was waiting for the Kardashians to pick her up, she said her name was Eliana Lynn Spears,” Munos said.

Munos tried to have her daughter voluntarily check herself into long-term care programs at several local mental hospitals. But when professionals asked Shoemate if she tried to hurt herself she said no and didn’t get admitted.

”How do you get a delusional adult to get help if they don’t even know what’s going on around them?” Munos said.

Mental health practitioner Dr. Kristy Donaldson said that with a court order caregivers can involuntarily admit adults into mental hospitals as long as professionals deem the treatment life-saving.

”When it becomes a harm to themselves or others then at that time you can begin the involuntarily admittance process,” Dr. Donaldson said.

As for Munos she wants to remind others to get professional help as soon as they can.

”I don’t want her to die in vain,” Munos said. “If anything, I want people to get help for their kids so that this doesn’t happen to them.”

Munos tried to check her daughter into long-term care facilities at Cedar Crest Hospital in Belton and Austin Oaks Hospital in Austin.

Both mental health hospitals confirmed to KWTX that they do require a standardized assessment before admitting adult patients into their care. However, neither could comment on Shoemate’s specific case due to HIPPA.