Locals fundraise in honor of Rio Rancho family found dead on Christmas

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A community is coming together to honor the Rio Rancho family found dead on Christmas Day by organizing a fundraiser.

A cousin of the Velasquez family says it’s been a difficult few days without them, but they were grateful for the time they did spend together.

“We had a wonderful Christmas Eve, now we’re all together grieving together and it’s wonderful to see the closeness of our family,” says Jessika Marquez.

The Rio Rancho Police Department says the bodies of Carlos and Marilyn Velasquez, along with their sons, 22-year old Roberto and 14-year old Adrian, were found on Christmas Day in their home near Unser and Paseo Del Volcan.

Roberto was home for the holidays from Stanford where he was an engineering masters student. Adrian, or AJ, was a freshman at Cleveland High School.

Police say their bodies were found when relatives could not get a hold of the family. All four were found shot to death inside the home, and police are investigating the case as a murder-suicide.

A search warrant says Carlos was suffering from PTSD and the couple was in the middle of a divorce, but police haven’t said who the shooter was just yet.

A GoFundMe page was quickly set up to cover the funeral expenses for Marilyn and the sons, but Carlos was noticeably absent from that page.

On Sunday night, friends and family gathered at the Paleta Bar near Coors and Montano to raise even more money for the family. The owner of the shop says the fundraiser was especially important to him because of his connection to the family.

“I personally knew Adrian as well. I used to coach him since he was 10-12 years old in soccer,” says Dipo Alam.

More than a hundred people stood in a line that wrapped around the building to show their support at the event. All of the proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the Velasquez family.

The owner says if the family still needs more money after the fundraiser, he will hold another one next week.

A candlelight vigil for the family will be held on January 5, 2020, at King Meadows Park in Rio Rancho at 5:30 p.m.

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