Mother searches for answers after son killed near Coronado Mall

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“He is just the person that walks into the room, his smile is gorgeous, and so he brings instant joy.”

Nanette Andazola is talking about her 17-year-old son, Jayden Vallez. She calls him her “person,” but her joy turned to heartbreak last year.

Jayden was shot in the Longhorn Steakhouse parking lot near Coronado Mall in March of 2021, according to police.

Before she knew her son was the one shot, she said she was hoping for a different outcome.

“In my mind, I’m thinking, OK, when they said one person lived and so, you know, as awful as it is, I hope it’s my son that lived and he wasn’t the one that died there,” she said.

Later that night, police told Nanette her son was shot eight times and died from his injuries.

“Every day is hard. Every day is a new day. It never gets easier. Every single time the rush comes on. That wave of emotion, the wave of missing him,” she said.

On top of the loss, she said she is frustrated.

“I don’t know where to go. I don’t know what else to do. There are no answers. For mothers like me, there’s so many of us,” she said.

She said she’s afraid police are no longer investigating her son’s case.

KOB reached out to Albuquerque police about Jayden’s murder. They said it’s still an active investigation.

“Even if they are caught, even if they are behind bars, they are still living their life,” Nanette said. “And I would never wish death upon anyone, but they took my son for no reason. And so that alone, you know, there is no justice in that I can never get back. I can never get him back. And so, justice cannot be served.”