Family members prepare to say final goodbyes

Sara  Sneath By Sara Sneath

Nov. 28, 2013 at 5:28 a.m.

Daniel Silgero

Daniel Silgero

Daniel Silgero, of Victoria, called his niece earlier this month to talk about nothing in particular - but just to check in.

Dana Silgero, 36, of Hallettsville, said she will miss those impromptu phone calls from her uncle the most.

Daniel Silgero, 66, was found dead Sunday morning inside his room at Victoria Motel.

His family said he was a good-hearted storyteller who battled prolonged health issues.

They said they expected Silgero to die from his ongoing fight with cirrhosis of the liver, not at the hand of someone else.

Sophie Silgero Adams, 50, of Hallettsville, said her uncle would give you the shirt off his back.

"If he had three or four dollars in his pocket, he would give it to you," Adams said.

Adams said despite his illness, Silgero was in high spirits the last time she saw him.

"He was always the jokester, always making me laugh," Adams said. "He wasn't a troublemaker. For someone to murder him - it's just hard to believe."

Silgero grew up in Hallettsville and was the sixth of 12 children, said his sister, Virginia Barges, 58, of Hallettsville. Barges said Silgero enjoyed telling stories and jokes while barbecuing with his brother.

Silgero also had a sweet tooth, Barges added.

At the worst point of his illness, he lived at a nursing home in Hallettsville.

"He had gotten down to 117 pounds," Barges said. "He wouldn't eat the food, but if I told him, 'Here. I got a Snickers,' he would eat that."

Shawn Chapel, 32, of Victoria, remains in the Victoria County Jail on suspicion of capital murder in Silgero's death.

Chapel's father, Danny Chapel, 63, of Kokomo, Ind., said his son has told him he is innocent.

"I don't think my son did it," Chapel said. "But I feel bad for the family. I give them my condolences. I don't know what to say."

Chapel said his son moved from Kokomo, Ind., to Victoria for a job.

Victoria Police Department has not released additional details of Silgero's death or a possible motive.

Dana Silgero said her uncle would tell all of his nieces and nephews that they were his favorite.

"He would tell us not to cry," she said. "He'd say, 'If you're going to cry, cry happy tears.'"



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