Mother of Lesandro Guzman-Feliz plans 19th birthday without him
Thursday would have been Lesandro ‘Junior’ Guzman-Feliz’ 19th birthday, and his mother thinks about how she would have celebrated if he were alive.
Leandra Feliz tells News 12 a birthday celebration would have included a trip to the Dominican Republic, where they visited when he was younger and wanted to go back.
Instead of a trip to the Dominican Republic on Thursday, Feliz will be making a trip to St. Raymond’s Cemetery and wondering about what could have been.
"I'm just imagining he could be here and 19 years old,” says Feliz. “Every year since the tragedy happened…it's more painful. It's more difficult."
Feliz will meet with a Rhode Island woman who says she gave birth to a “miracle baby” and named her Leandra, after Guzman-Feliz.
A Mass service is planned for 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Mount Carmel Church in the Belmont section of the Bronx. Those who are still affected by Junior’s death, even years later, are expected to be there. Their support has helped Feliz get through such a tragic moment.
"God been helping me with the people, sending love with everybody,” says Feliz. “Everybody knows what happened, and that made me feel a little bit strong to stand up - to continue to fight for his justice."
Feliz says she wants to the laws to change to increase the penalties for murder.
In 2018, Guzman-Feliz was chased and killed by gang members in an apparent case of mistaken identity.