FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Saturday marked 28 years to the date since Julio Esqueda was shot and killed at a house party in central Fresno.
Esqueda was just 20 years old, and his sister says that even though the case has gone cold, she and her family will not stop in their search for justice.
“Just pulled out a gun and shot him at point-blank range. It was like right here, and then he ran up this driveway and he almost made it to the front steps, and then he just fell,” said Susan Esqueda, Julio or “Jay’s” sister.
Susan Esqueda said she was at the home in the 1100 block of North Willow Avenue in Fresno when she witnessed her brother’s shooting and death.
She said she even saw who did it.
“I actually had pointed him out in a lineup a long time ago. Back in like February of ’96,” said Esqueda. “There was other people that like you know, had a lot to do with the commotion and stuff that took place that just basically refused to cooperate.”
To this day no arrest has been made.
Instead, on the 28th anniversary of Jay’s murder, Susan gathered family and close friends for a candlelight vigil and 28-balloon release, one for every year, to honor the man who was about to welcome a third son.
“He loved his boys, you know? He had a son that was, you know, on the way four, three weeks after he was murdered that he never got to know and has his name,” Esqueda explained.
But to raise awareness for the case, in hopes they can bring the killer to justice.
“He’s been out, been free for 28 years and you know, he’s probably gotten to have children and grandchildren. And they know him. What my brother never got,” said Susan.
Susan says she continues this mission after so long for her mom, who led the charge for justice until her death three years ago, and for Jay’s sons.
“They never even really got to know their dad you know, because they were so small and I, I feel like I just want to give them that you know on this… In this life,” she said.
Susan asks that if you know anything about her brother’s death or his killer, that they step forward.