ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – For the first time, Ruthie Maynard-Jones is speaking about the horrifying events that took place on Dec. 6, 2019.

She and her daughter 34-year old Marqueita Maynard were arriving home when the two were ambushed by Ruthie’s ex-husband Stanley Jones. Police say Jones stabbed them both.

Marqueita died from her injuries, her mother survived.

Maynard-Jones explains the two raced into the home like teenagers, after returning from a cruise celebrating Marqueita’s 34th birthday.

She got in the house first. And I came in behind her. And she’s like mom, they light the house on fire,” said Maynard-Jones. “And we both were looking up and you could see the smoke rolling. She turned before I did and she screamed and he was right there on us. “

Police arrested Jones a short time later. He’s now facing numerous charges including first-degree murder, attempted murder, and arson for allegedly starting the house on fire.

Marqueita died at the scene as aramedics rushed her mother to a local hospital.

Marvin Maynard, Marqueita’s father, explains Ruthie flatlined twice before doctors were able to stabilize her.

Now Marqueita’s parents only have photographs and memories of their daughter. Marvin remembers the fishing trips he would take with his daughter, and when she took up tennis, one of his favorite sports.

“I developed her,” said Maynard. “And with her input, to where I feel as though Venus or Sarina she would have given them a heck of a problem… “

Ruthie Maynard-Jones and daughter Marqueita, on a waverunner excursion while on their cruise to the Bahamas.

Ruthie Maynard-Jones smiles when she speaks about her daughter, but that laughter quickly transitions into tears. She knows her daughter is in a better place, but she can’t help but hurt inside.

“My baby was my world. She was the air I breathed. She was such a jewel. She was sweet, kind, intelligent. Just fun-loving,” said Maynard-Jones. “I haven’t asked the Lord why, I just thanked him for the 34 years she was in my life. I thanked him. I thanked him for showing me that kind of love. “