Family members of a 20-year-old man who was brutally beaten and killed this week said their loved one was the father of a 9-month-old baby and had another child on the way.
Julian Hamori-Andrade’s family in a fundraising page also called him an “amazing” brother and friend who “will be missed beyond words.”
“Our family lost an important piece of our hearts,” the GoFundMe page reads.
His loved ones gathered at the Glendora home where he lived Friday evening for a memorial vigil. His mother, Desiree Andrade, was still struggling to come to terms with his tragic death.
“I love him dearly,” she said, choking back tears. “It saddens me that my grandkids are never going to ever meet their dad like that.”
His aunt Evelyn Fuentes recalled how enthusiastically he had embraced his role as a father.
“He was so excited telling us this was his first Father’s Day,” she said. “He was just excited, looking forward to that day, and he never got it.”
His sister, Jasmine Hamori, said the group of men who picked her brother up from their home on Monday — the day he went missing — were new friends she’d never met before.
“They looked to be nice kids. Nothing in my head thought ‘No, my brother shouldn’t go,” she said. “I didn’t get to give him a last hug, but who would think that that would have been my last time to see him?”
But, she added, “They were great actors, if that was the case, because they made it seem like they loved my brother.”
Hamori-Andrade was found off Highway 39 in Azusa Wednesday, days after a home along Goodway Drive in unincorporated Azusa was discovered with “a large amount of blood.” Four men described as his acquaintances have been charged in connection with his death, one of whom remains at large.
Authorities believe Hamori-Andrade was beaten at the home, dragged onto the bed of one of the suspects’ truck and beaten again before being thrown off the side of San Gabriel Canyon Road on Monday. He was still alive when he was left there, investigators believe.
His body was found two days later, after what his family suspects he had suffered an excruciating amount of pain.
“What breaks our hearts is we knew he was missing, but we had no idea he was suffering,” Fuentes said. “He was still alive when they threw him over.”
The suspects, Hercules Balaskas, 19, Matthew Luzon, 21, Jacob Elmendorf, 19, and Francisco Amigon, 19, have been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree residential robbery and kidnapping, officials said.
Luzon, the only one among the men who lives at the Goodway Drive home, remains outstanding.
“We still have this guy out there,” the victim’s mom said. “He’s running the streets, the coward is still running. He needs to be caught.”
Prosecutors believe Balaskas used a metal chair to beat the Hamori-Andrade, while Luzon used a rock and broken glass pipe.
The motive behind the crime is unknown.
KTLA’s Erika Martin contributed to this report.