Family desperate for answers in murder of Denver teen found in cemetery

DENVER (KDVR) — The family of a Denver teen found shot to death in a cemetery is speaking out for the first time.

Last Saturday, 16-year-old Elias Garcia Tinajero was found dead at the Fairmount Cemetery, shot multiple times.

Thursday, Denver police arrested a juvenile suspect in the case.

Elias’ aunt, Brenda Tinajero, told FOX31 the family knew something was wrong when he didn’t reply back to his mother.

It’s been a week since the family learned of his death, and they want answers as to why someone would do this to him.

“He was a great kid. You know, he had a whole life ahead of him,” Tinajero said. “It’s kind of devastating to know that we won’t get to see that part of him.”

Tinajero said her nephew had dreams of going places.

“He had a lot going for him, a lot. He wanted to be an investor. He wanted his money to work for him,” she said.

The teen’s family members said they can’t understand how he ended up at the Fairmount Cemetery in the 400 block of South Quebec Street on Feb. 24 around 2:30 p.m. shot multiple times.

“My dad gave us a call that they had found him, and they did stuff to him. At first, it was shocking. I didn’t really believe it because it’s something so tragic,” Tinajero said. “The way he went out was very tragic. I can’t get my mind wrapped around it.”

The question she has now, is why?

“I just hope Elias gets the justice that he deserves. I don’t know who or why they would do this to him. He took him away from his mom, from his sister, from his little brother. They loved him, they loved being around him and to just not have him there it’s very hard,” said Tinajero.

She told FOX31 Elias loved to watch sports, loved nature, loved spending time with family and friends, and loved music.

He would always have a smile on his face. He liked having nice things and dressing fashionable. Elias was the most kind humble person. He would always have nice things to say to people. He was also an excellent son, cousin, brother, nephew and grandson. Always very helpful. He was a very responsible person. He wouldn’t like to miss days at work and he liked going to the gym. He was a very bright person and got his life taken too soon.

Brenda Tinajero, victim’s aunt

Now, the family wants to see a change.

“There’s so much violence going on, it’s like what do you win with violence? What do you win with taking someone’s life? You’re not winning anything with that,” Tinajero said.

Elias’ family is planning his funeral for March 11. They have started a GoFundMe to help with funeral costs.

Meanwhile, the juvenile suspect is being held in custody for investigation of first-degree murder. Investigators have not said what led up to that shooting.


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