Joshua Elias Pelaya was born on May 16th 1984, my first child, my first Son. He brought laughter, he brought tears, he brought joy, and he was my loving special little boy! Joshua was the first boy born in my family, so he was a precious gift to all of us. It was fun to see him learn how to play different sports and play them very well. Whatever he put his mind to doing, he did with success, from learning to ride a two wheel bike at age 3 to learning to snow ski in 30 minutes and tackling the highest mountain afterwards. Joshua made us laugh, he had such a sense of humor, especially if he knew someone needed cheering up, he would do or say something funny just to bring their spirit's up. Numerous people have told our family; from the very young to the very old that Joshua was such a kind and gentle person with great manners, always very polite and remembering to say please and thank you, he would take out the trash for his friends, parents or grandparents or ask what he could do to help when he was over visiting their homes.
Joshua was by no means the perfect child, no one is! He made some difficult life choices, sometimes he hung around with the wrong people and did some wrong things, but this does not mean that he was a bad person or that he deserved what happened to him. In the last few months of Joshua's life he obtained a job that he enjoyed, had a girlfriend that he spent time with and stayed home more than he used to. He was really doing well and turning his life around in a positive way.
Our beloved Joshua was cowardly murdered execution-style with two shots to the back of his head in our home on February 21st, 2003. He was murdered at approximately 11:30 in the morning while my husband and myself were at work and my 11-year-old daughter was at school. Our neighbors heard gunshots and saw people leaving our home, but did not call the police; one of the neighbors that lived across the street from us was even the neighborhood watch commander-unbelievable!
Joshua's body was left on that cold living room floor to be found by
his 11-year-old sister and his stepfather as they came home from work
and school. My daughter was usually the first one through the door as
they would come home and that day was no exception, only this time they
did not have to unlock the door first, it was open, and when she stepped
inside the first thing that my daughter saw was her beloved brother's
body laying in a pool of blood, my husband was right behind her and
also saw our son laying on the floor and pulled my daughter outside
not knowing if the person responsible for Joshua's murder was still
inside our home or not. He proceeded to call me on my cell phone at
work, but could not bring himself to tell me that our son was dead,
even though he said he could see that Joshua was gone, he told me that
Joshua was very badly injured and that I needed to come home right away.
But deep in my soul I felt that my son had been taken from me, I don't
recall how long it took for me to get home, but it seemed and eternity,
and when my friends from work finally pulled into our street, I could
see crowds of people around our home with police cars and an ambulance.
As I jumped out of the car and raced to the house, I was stopped by
police officers, who said I could not go inside my own home to see my
son, I screamed at them to keep working on him, knowing but not wanting
to acknowledge that he was already gone. A police officer confirmed
that Joshua was dead when I tried to get in to my home once more.