Slain teen Jeremiah Valencia laid to rest
February 08, 2018 05:27 PM
PECOS, N.M. -- Funeral services were held Thursday for the Pojoaque teenager who was tortured, beaten to death and then buried in northern New Mexico.
Friends and family gathered at St. Anthony’s Church in Pecos to say goodbye to 13-year-old Jeremiah Valencia. His mother, her boyfriend and the boyfriend’s son all face charges for his death.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office escorted the funeral procession to a nearby cemetery for the burial.
Genevieve Baca isn't related to Valencia, but she said she was like an aunt to him. Thursday was about remembering Valencia as he was in life, not his tragic death.
"This is about the smiling happy little boy that loved cars, that loved fishing, that loved his little glow-in-the-dark ducky," she said. "This is about a little boy that was so special. Like I couldn't even explain his smile in the morning. It was just the best thing; better than a cup of coffee to wake up to. And I'm happy to have been a part of his life. I'm honored to have been a part of his life.”
Members of the San Miguel County Sheriff's Posse, a group of citizens who help out in the Pecos community, were asked to help escort the funeral procession.
"We all have kids," said one member of the posse, Jody Ortiz. "We all have small kids so it hit home for everybody."
Investigators say Thomas Ferguson beat Valencia to death last November. Ferguson's son Jordan Nunez and Valencia's mother Tracy Pena are accused of doing nothing to stop the abuse and helping to dispose of the body.
Baca hopes no other child in our state will have to endure the same torture Valencia did.
"This little boy is now the face of addiction and domestic violence in New Mexico," she said. "Had he not fallen through the cracks and been handed to people that handed him over to these monsters, we wouldn't be here today."
Updated: February 08, 2018 05:27 PM
Created: February 08, 2018 03:59 PM
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