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HISTORY:

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.
We were taken to the police station and questioned as to Joshua's friends and if anyone had been around threatening him, I recalled that 2 young men had been to my house about 7 to 10 days prior at a very late time of night and seemed very intimidating. As it turns out, one of the young men, I was able to identify by photo was later charged prosecuted and found guilty of first degree murder and guilty of using a firearm to commit the murder. He was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison. The other young men responsible for my sons' murder have not been prosecuted because the young man that is in custody refuses to give their names. I have said many times before that justice was not served when this young man was sentenced, but that at least he would not have another opportunity to hurt or endanger anyone again.
Our entire family continues to feel the pain of Joshua's murder. We miss him so much. When he was taken away, our hearts were taken away, our hopes and our dreams were taken away, and our peace and our security were taken away.
We look forward to the time at the end of each of our lives when we will see him and once again be with him, but time drags on so long and it seems forever since we have heard his laughter, seen his face, and shared in love, life, joy and true happiness. Until we meet again, Joshua, sleep sweetly my beautiful son! " I love you, Jesus be with you!"