Emporia family searching for peace after teen’s murder

EMPORIA, Kan (KSNT)  –  An Emporia family is searching for answers after their teenage son was found murdered. 19-year-old Jesus Avila was laid to rest Thursday after being found murdered outside Emporia earlier this month. Jesus’s sister Marilu still talks about him in the present tense.

“I don’t think I’ll ever change it. He’s my little brother,” said Marilu.

Marilu and her family are trying to stay strong because she said that’s what Jesus would’ve wanted. It’s something they’d talked about before.

“He was like well if I die I want people to be happy and I looked at him and was like you don’t even want people to be a little sad for you like what the heck that’s weird and he was like just a little sad,” said Marilu.

Friday, Jesus’s family began nine days of prayer that are supposed to help guide Jesus’s soul to heaven. During this time, Jesus’s mom Virginia said she keeps thinking of the last time she saw her son alive.

“He just looked at me and was like oh bye mom and that’s what’s breaking my heart because I don’t understand how God gave us the chance to say goodbye to each other because that was the last thing he told me and that was the last thing I told him,” said Virginia.

Lyon County Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest and conviction in Jesus’s case. While she wants justice for her son, Virginia said she also prays for peace. Peace for her family and whoever killed her son.

“I’m praying for these people that way they can get their peace back that’s the only way I’m going to feel peace back to,” said Virginia.

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