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LA sheriff's explorer remembered; family seeks help in unsolved murder

August 28, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Family, friends and deputies marched in Whittier Tuesday night to honor a young sheriff's explorer who died a year ago in a drive-by shooting that remains unsolved.

The victim's family is asking for help to find the gunman who killed 19-year-old Cesar Rodriguez and his friend, 24-year-old Larry Villegas.

"I wait for him every day to call, to text, to ask what we're having for dinner," said Rodriguez's mother, Lupe.

"We ask each other every day, 'Why?' What did we do to you guys or to anybody? No one had the right to take anyone else's life," said Rodriguez's brother, Hector.

Two innocent lives were lost exactly a year ago to suspected gang violence, something Rodriguez was working to end. His dream was to become a sheriff's deputy.

"Cesar grew up in this neighborhood. This does have a gang influence. Cesar, at a young age, decided he wanted to be a deputy sheriff and he made all the right choices," said Cpt. Patrick Maxwell of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

As they gathered to honor Rodriguez's dedication and hope, family and friends renewed their plea for help catching his killer.

"I, as a mother, know that someone out there knows something. Please step up, step forward, help me, help me a little bit with this pain," Lupe Rodriguez said through tears.

Anyone with information on the double-murder was asked to call Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.


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