Things That Matter

Police Have Arrested The Ex-Boyfriend Of The Slain 17-Year-Old High School Student In South El Monte

Happy, fun, outgoing, passionate. These are the words that people have used to describe 17-year-old Jeremy Sanchez who was killed on Wednesday in South El Monte, California. The athletic student, who was part of the football, baseball, and wrestling, teams at South El Monte High School, was tragically found stabbed near the San Gabriel River.

Sanchez’s family became concerned when he didn’t show up for school Wednesday, April 18.

Sanchez’s family turned to his ex-boyfriend to ask if he’d seen him but The New York Post reports that the 16-year-old friend’s statements didn’t add up. Police have not released the friends name to the press because he is a minor.

Police stated that the ex-boyfriend has been arrested and is suspected of the brutal stabbing death.

According to The Washington Post, there is no know motive for the death as of yet. The 16-year-old has been arrested for allegedly killing Sanchez though the weapon has not been found.

There’s a lot of why questions,” Christina Amigon, who was Sanchez’s godmother, told The San Gabriel Valley Tribune. “Why did he kill him? Why did he do this to him?”

Last night, a memorial was set up where Sanchez’s body was found.

“Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the family and friends of our South El Monte High School student Jeremy Sanchez, a popular student-athlete on campus and in the school community,” Sanchez’s school, South El Monte High School, said on their Facebook page. “Jeremy was a happy, funny and light-hearted student who had a passion for sports, having played on the football, baseball and wrestling teams. He was a beloved, natural leader on our campus and his death is nothing short of devastating. We are providing grief counselors to students and staff to help them process their emotions during this difficult time.”

His friends are honoring Sanchez on social media.

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It is clear that Sanchez was deeply loved within his community.

He was always laughing,” David Dueñas, Jeremy’s friend on the football team, told The San Gabriel Valley Tribune. He said he would call him “Little Jeremy.”

Today, when students returned to school his classmates mourned the loss of their friend.

“As you may know April 18th we lost a wonderful soul who was taken from us suddenly,” Briana Amigon wrote on GoFundme. “Jeremy Sanchez was a loving young man who was out going and full of energy. He loved playing sports he was on the varsity football team and also on the wrestling team. We have no words to describe the grief that their family is experiencing right now, and many friends and family have asked how they can help at this difficult time. We have set up this Go Fund Me account to help his family. We thank everyone for their support, prayers and condolences in this difficult time.”

In one day, Jeremy’s GoFundme page has raised $13,495 of their $20,000 goal.

This story is developing. We will update this story with further details.


READ: More Questions Than Answers After 13-Year-Old Latina’s Body Found In Texas

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Hundreds Gather to Mourn Yadhira Romero Martinez, Who Was Violently Murdered in Minnesota

Things That Matter

Hundreds Gather to Mourn Yadhira Romero Martinez, Who Was Violently Murdered in Minnesota

Photo via GoFundMe

Last Thursday, 19-year-old Yadhira Romero Martinez left work. Her housemate, Jose Daniel Cuenca-Zuniga’s, picked her up and drove her home. Surveillance footage showed her entering her home with Cuenca-Zuniga at 6pm. After that, no one ever heard from her again.

On Friday, authorities found Yadhira Romero Martinez dead in the room she rented in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Police found her “with a plastic bag lying across her forehead and wearing only a T-shirt.” There were bruises on her face and her neck. She had “what appeared to be handprints outlined in blood on her thighs.”

Yadhira Romero Martinez rented a room from a woman who owned a home in Minneapolis. She shared the house with at least one other renter, the aforementioned Jose Daniel Cuenca-Zuniga. Romero Martinez had moved from Mexico to Minneapolis last September. According to her family, she had moved to the U.S. for “a better life”.

By Friday, the homeowner realized that something was wrong. Through a cracked door, she saw Romero Martinez laying unconscious on her bed.

Cuenca-Zuniga told the homeowner that Yadhira had simply had too much to drink. But shortly after, the young man packed his belongings and fled. The homeowner then called the authorities after repeatedly knocking on the door and getting no answer.

On Sunday, police tracked down Jose Daniel Cuenca-Zuniga in Ohio, where he had fled. Police have since charged Cuenca-Zuniga with intentional second-degree murder.

Yadhira’s family, as well as the Minneapolis community at large, are grieving over the death of a bright young woman who “didn’t have a bad bone in her body.”

On Saturday, hundreds gathered in Minneapolis to attend the vigil of Yadhira Romero Martinez. Many of the mourners spoke about how the young woman’s murder was an act of misogynistic femicide.

“I didn’t know Yadhira, but I’m here because I’m a woman, like her, and I’m an immigrant, like her,” said one of the attendees to Fox 9 News. “And I’m scared that that’s going to happen to me.”

“It breaks my heart seeing just a Hispanic woman, lady, that gets her life taken away, you know, without doing nothing, without harming nobody,” said vigil attendee, Cesar Vence to WCCO. “Why do these things have to happen, you know, to a young lady that just comes from Mexico to work and support her family?”

On Facebook, Yadhira’s cousin, Jun Romero, wrote a passionate eulogy that doubled as a call-to-action.

“To have her life taken so soon to such a violent and disgusting way was something she didn’t deserve. No one deserves that,” he wrote. “She was my cousin. She was a daughter. She was a sister. SHE WAS A PERSON. I love her and I will miss her.”

He finished his post with: “Please protect your sisters and educate your boys/men. Machismo, sexism, and violence exist in every nook and cranny of our lives no matter how small. If you see it, stop it. Unlearn to stay silent in these matters for the sake of women and fem-presenting people everywhere. She didn’t deserve this and you don’t either.”

Her family set up a GoFundMe page to raise enough funds to “transport her body to Mexico so her parents can do a funeral service”. You can donate here.

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This Virgen de Guadalupe Mural Was Vandalized In Los Angeles And The Community Is Devastated

Things That Matter

This Virgen de Guadalupe Mural Was Vandalized In Los Angeles And The Community Is Devastated

La Virgen de Guadalupe means so much to so many. Especially the Latino community in Van Nuys, California, near Los Angeles, which is reeling after an important mural depicting La Virgen was vandalized overnight.

Although security cam footage captured an unknown man defacing the mural, the suspect is still at large and the community is asking for help in finding out who committed the vandalism.

A suspect was caught on camera destroying a mural with La Virgen de Guadalupe.

The community of Saint Elisabeth Church near Los Angeles is asking the community for prayers after a mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe was vandalized on church grounds. 

The parish’s security system recorded video footage of an unknown man dressed in black approaching the mural with a sledgehammer at 1:40 a.m. Wednesday morning. He can be seen smashing the tiles that make up Our Lady’s face several times before fleeing.

On Friday, April 23, Father Di Marzio led a prayer service, which was livestreamed on the parish Facebook page. Some 30 parishioners gathered to sing and pray a decade of the rosary in front of the mural, which is roped off with caution tape, while nearly 100 others joined online. In closing, Fr. Di Marzio encouraged parishioners to “continue to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary to help us, and to touch the heart of the person who did this.” 

Also on Friday, a local artist, Geo Rhodes, was scheduled to visit the mural and discuss a plan for repair, arranged by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “We hope that soon we will restore the image, or have a new one more beautiful than the one we had before,” Fr. Di Marzio said.  

La Virgen de Guadalupe is extremely important to the church.

The hand-painted tile mural stands between the church and the rectory. It was installed over 35 years ago as a “symbol of community unity,” said business manager Irma Ochoa. Each square tile was sponsored by a parish family. Overlooking a small altar, the mural has become a popular place for parishioners to pray and light candles, asking Our Lady for special blessings. 

“I feel an unspeakable sadness,” said Fr. Antonio Fiorenza, who is in residence at the parish. “But I feel pity for the one who made this sacrilegious gesture. I pray for his conversion and for all those who show contempt to the Virgin Mary.”

To donate to the restoration fund, visit stelisabethchurch.org

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