Posted at: 05/08/2014 10:31 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4
As a Valencia County mother is charged in connection to the murder of her young son's friend, the victim's family is moving forward with a plan to help other kids in the small community of Meadowlake.
Loretta Villalobos has been indicted in Valencia County on charges including child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Investigators say Villalobos knew her 15-year-old son Brandon was dangerous and did nothing about it.
Police say Brandon Villalobos killed his 12-year-old friend, Alex Madrid. He will be tried as an adult for the murder.
After Villalobos appeared in court today, Alex Madrid's family told KOB Eyewitness News 4 his death has inspired them to make a big change in their small community of Meadowlake.
"A lot of kids up here, they don't have a place to go," said Madrid's aunt, Rosa Delgado.
On Thursday, she stood in a lonely field where police found the body of her nephew, Alex.
He was 12 years old, and for Rosa this field is where Alex will stay 12 years old forever.
"This is Alex's place, you know?" she said.
But Rosa doesn't see the field as a sad place anymore. She sees potential.
That's why the lonely field in the center of one of the poorest communities in New Mexico looks like opportunity to her.
"A lot of kids up here, they don't have a place to go," she said.
The man who owns the land donated it to Alex's family, and where there are now only shrubs and dust Rosa sees swings, BMX bike ramps, barbeques and picnic tables.
"To make it like a park," she said. "So that other kids who live up here in Meadowlake can come enjoy riding their bikes, or having a picnic."
Rosa says it could help kids stay out of trouble, too.
"They won't have to be out there doing anything wrong or whatever," she said.
For Rosa, it will help her community, and turn a lonely place into something Alex would have loved -- a place Rosa says she'll be happy to know his spirit will live on.
"He would have come and played basketball and ride his bike and ride his bike on the ramps and swing and play football," she said.
Rosa also wants to build a handball wall Meadowlake can use to project movies on the weekends for family movie nights in the park.
Community donations have already paid off the property taxes on that donated field. So now all they need to build the Alex Madrid Memorial Park are supplies, and a team of volunteers.
If you think you can help out with making the park a reality, e-mail Caleb James at firstname.lastname@example.org.