POMONA (CBSLA) – A vigil Sunday in Pomona was held for 16-year-old George Almaraz who, according to law enforcement officials, was killed by his stepmother, 35-year-old Jessica Garjeda, who now, along with Almaraz’s father, faces charges.
The emotional vigil was organized by Almaraz’s mother. The crowd stood around a memorial outside the apartment where the 16-year-old was killed, some holding signs calling for justice and an end to child abuse.READ MORE: How To Watch The 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards
Pomona Police said that Almaraz had severe pre-existing injuries, signs of previous abuse. His stepmother and father were arrested on charges of murder and child abuse on Tuesday.READ MORE: Man Struck Multiple Times In Daylight Shooting In Riverside
The teenager moved to Pomona from New Mexico in 2014, which was the last time his biological mother saw him. His visit was only supposed to last for the summer with his father, but Almaraz ended up staying. The boy’s biological mother said she had no idea the abuse was occurring and is angry that she couldn’t have done something earlier. Relatives of the young man are also heartbroken.
“No kid, no child needs to be abused or killed. They’re innocent victims in the hands of bad parents,” Miguel Placencia, a relative of Almaraz’s, told CBSLA’s Rick Montanez.MORE NEWS: Emmys Vow A Good Time After Bleak Year; 'Crown' May Rule
Friends of Almaraz’s from school said the boy was a very sweet and smart young man.