For Woman Killed in Attack, US Was Refuge From Fear

Bennetta Bet-Badal was one of the 14 people who died tragically in the San Bernardino mass shooting incident on Dec. 2, 2015

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Courtesy: Family of Bennetta Bet-Badal

Bennetta Bet-Badal was born in Iran in 1969 and came to the United States at age 18 to escape the persecution of Christians after the Iranian Revolution, according to a family statement on a fundraising account set up in her name.

Her cousin, Melani Betbadal, referred reporters to the statement and declined further comment.

She first settled in New York City but eventually moved to Rialto, California. She and her husband, a police officer, were married in 1997 and have three children ages 10, 12 and 15.

Betbadal graduated from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona with a degree in chemistry and took a job as a health inspector with San Bernardino County.

Her husband, Arlen Verdehyou, told The Daily Breeze that he and his wife exchanged texts at 8 a.m. Wednesday. He told her that he had withdrawn money from the bank and would do some Christmas shopping. Betbadal had recently decorated the family's Christmas tree.

She was planning to give a presentation at the annual holiday meeting Wednesday and was excited about it, the family said.

"It is the ultimate irony that her life would be stolen from her that day by what appears to be the same type of extremism that she fled so many years ago," the family said in the statement.

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