Despite Reyes' obstinacy, the Goodwin family bears no ill will towards Reyes' family, only the most human kind of sympathy. On the last day of the trial, a small amount of peace was made: Peggy Goodwin reached out and embraced Ernesto Reyes' mother.
"I noticed when they showed the fire video that she was crying in the distance and I thought she finally realized he's been lying to her. So I guess my heart just reached out to her as a woman who had realized her son was this monster. And so we just walked over to her. And we just hugged each other. And she kept saying she was sorry," Goodwin explained to "Primetime."
Melanie's family is determined that good will continue to come from this unthinkable tragedy, starting a scholarship fund for young actors in their daughter's name. Although she was taken in a brutal and senseless fashion, they are determined to keep her memory alive.
"In 19 years, she became an incredible young lady who touched a lot of people and made a very positive impact on a lot of people. We'll never know how big that impact would have grown and what a difference she would have made if given the opportunity," said Peggy Goodwin.
To learn more about Melanie's life or to make a donation to the scholarship fund, click here.