Emporia family still searching for answers after teen’s murder

EMPORIA, Kan. (KSNT)  –  An Emporia family is still searching for answers after a teen was murdered outside Emporia. Jesus Avila was found dead in a burned up car in September, but his room is just the way he left it. Jesus’s sister Marilu says she tries to keep the door closed because the room still smells like him. .

“It’s tormenting because you hear so many things and it just kills my heart,” said Marilu Avila.

Marilu has become frustrated with the rumors in Emporia. She said she and her family are bombarded with questions and speculation about her brother’s death. Still, she said she doesn’t know anything for sure.

“I feel like I know nothing. Like I said I don’t know if those rumors are true or not. They don’t seem real. Like all the crazy things people are saying don’t seem real because that wouldn’t happen here in Emporia,” said Marilu

Marilu said she shares all the rumors she hears with law enforcement. She hopes this will help find her brother’s killer.

Jesus Avila is the second person to be murdered in Lyon County this year. It’s a community that’s generally thought of as a safe place to live. It seems like many people you talk to are more worried about petty crime than violent crime.

“I’m not afraid to walk around. I’m smart enough to not put anything in my car and keep my car locked,” said Stacey Bonczkowski, who’s lived in Emporia for over 10 years.

Still, people know Jesus Avila. Marilu said that can be both a blessing and a curse.

“We can’t go out without being stopped, without being looked at, without being like so what happened did they find anything out? I wish I could give people the answer,” said Marilu.

The Lyon County Crime Stoppers is offering an up to $2,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in Jesus’s case. KSNT News reached out to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office for comment and they said Jesus’s case “is an on going investigation that we cannot comment on.”


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