Family friends of murdered 13-year-old riddled with guilt

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There were signs of abuse, according to close family friends of 13-year-old Jeremiah Valencia — signs they wish they would have acted on.

In an emotional interview with KRQE News 13, those friends explained how they too, were scared of Thomas Ferguson, the man accused of killing the boy.

“My baby’s gone and no one wanted to help him,” said Amber Lynn.

Lynn grew up with Jeremiah Valencia; their moms were best friends. The last time she saw him was in May, but said she didn’t see any signs of abuse.

After the boy’s body was found over the weekend, she began remembering the signs of trouble.

“He said if I ever go, don’t remember the bad times, remember the good times,” she said.

That comment Jeremiah made to her has her wondering if it was a cry for help. She said she knew Thomas Ferguson had been abusive to Jeremiah’s mom, Tracy Pena, who is now also charged in the boy’s death.

“We all told her to get away from him,” said Amber Lynn.

She believes Ferguson brainwashed Pena. What’s more, in new court documents, Ferguson’s son Jordan Nunez, told police his father had locks on all the doors restricting anyone from leaving the house.

“He threatened me many times. He would tell me if you come back and you get these kids, I’m gonna chop your head off,” said Amber Lynn.

As for why no one at school stepped in, Lynn said Jeremiah and his 13-year-old sister haven’t been in school for at least a year.

“They were in school in Vegas,” she said.

Officials at West Las Vegas Schools said Jeremiah and his sister attended West Las Vegas Middle School but were dis-enrolled by a parent a year ago.

“Thomas just got up and left, and took up and left and took the kids and took her, and they never went back,” said Lynn.

Lynn said she and her mother are now full of anger for Jeremiah’s accused killer.

“This monster needs to be where he belongs,” said Lynn’s mother Ramona.

They said they even want the death penalty brought back for Ferguson, but they try to find peace in the fact that Jeremiah is no longer in pain.

“I know he’s dancing up there. He’s with the angels,” said Lynn.

The women said they didn’t know where the family was living at the time Jeremiah was allegedly being abused. They said when they asked the boy’s mother, Tracy Pena, she said they were bouncing around from motel to motel.

Amber Lynn said they are hosting a memorial event on Friday, Feb. 2, at Alto Park in Santa Fe at 6 p.m.

Related Coverage »

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