September 20, 2019, I received a phone call that changed my life forever. The officer asked "when is the last time I seen my daughter?" When I realized he was talking about Luzeia, my whole body went numb. As we continue, he explains and tell me reason police were called. When said it was due to a strong odor, I went into shock and started calling my family. When I got the apartments and seen yellow tape and the incoming forensic vans and PD bus, it confirmed my fear. NOT my baby. I blamed myself. I did not know anything about this guy or met him. I had no clue he fathered the first child because of the cover up. It didn't matter because I was still by her side. This guy has a history of violence, not just with my niece but previous relationship or acquaintance (that's court documented). As I looked at his history, I was furious. I was furious with my sister because she knew and the justice system. Why in the hell was this guy not in jail? He violated his probation numerous times and they were all violent involving a gun. What upset me the most is, the blame. Those that claim to love her still not protecting her, after death. What happened to her was NOT her fault. Her voice went unheard and now she's gone. Not anymore!
I created Luzeia's Voice in memory of my niece Luzeia. Tragically her life was violently cut short in August 2019 and her remains has not been found. My family and I continue to fight for justice and share her story. Luzeia suffered from mental and physical abuse throughout her life, but despite her surroundings, she remained a sweet humble, dependable and a hard working young lady. All she wanted to do was be independent and enjoy life. Before she passed away we talked about her going back to school and began to work on a plan. I asked her "what do you want to be?" She said "a psychiatrist". I jokingly replied, "Good! our family needs one" and we both laughed. We talked a lot about life and obstacles. I alway told her, no matter time or day, if she needs me I'll be there. I even asked her to come stay with me. I remember the last time I seen her. I had come home from work and as usual she was waiting until I got home because she was babysitting. We talked for a couple of minutes and then we said our good byes. She never said bye, she would say "I love you". Those are the last words I heard her say.
Luzeia was a good kid. She never showed me any disrespect. Our bond was unexplainable. I raised her when she was a baby and at that point I had no children. She would always say, "I'm your first child". I never disagreed and at same time I wasn't trying to take titles "mother" from anyone. That little girl had my heart from the beginning. When she was in my care, she was loved by our friends, extended family and anyone who met her. She was a joy to have and she always made me laugh.
My niece would've 20 yrs old this February 2021. It's hard for me to celebrate her mile stones or life. She will forever have my heart and I will continue to be her voice.
Coverage from Justin Lum with Fox 10 News
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