A 13-year-old eighth grader at Larry C. Kennedy Middle School was gunned down while out for a Sunday morning jog.
“From the information that we were able to obtain, there was some type of altercation,” Phoenix Police Detective Dominic Roestenberg with the Homicide Cold Case Unit said. “Several witnesses came forward saying they heard several gunshots and possibly a vehicle speeding away.”
On Nov. 7, 2010, Jonathan Garcia-Valladares kissed his mother goodbye just after 7:30 a.m. He never came home. His body was found near 26th Street and Thomas Road, about a half-mile from the house his family had just moved into three months earlier.
Investigators said that, from the placement of the gunshots, it doesn’t appear to be a random shooting. Robbery may have been a motive.
Jonathan’s mom, Ruth, said Jonny, as she called him, had dreams of becoming a surgeon and wanted to change the world. At school, he was in the science club, the choir and had just joined the flag football team. He’d gone for a jog because he was trying to get in shape for an upcoming game. While he was also into skateboarding, video games and Christian music, Jonny loved school. In fact, when she’d take him to the store, he’d head right to the school supplies.
“I never had to wake up Jonny for school,” Ruth said. “In fact he’s the one that would wake me up to take him to school.”
After his murder, Jonny’s teachers shared with Ruth the recommendations they’d written in his application for a bioscience high school.
“I feel so proud of him,” Ruth said. “I wish he could see what the teachers said about him. It was amazing what they thought about Jonathan. It was so good.”
Silent Witness is offered a $2,000 reward for information in the case.
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