Erika Gonzalez didn’t know what to put on her grandson’s birthday cake.
When Angel was younger, he loved “PAW Patrol”. But he wanted something different for his sixth birthday on May 21.
“When we asked him, he said, ‘I want a Ferrari,'” Angel’s aunt Maria Velazquez said.
The Italian sports car company’s horse logo went on a tres leches cake.
Two weeks later, Angel and his mother, Yesli Velazquez Gonzalez, were shot dead at their home in Baldwin Park. The police found their bodies in the garden.
The June 5 shooting was related to a domestic dispute, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Gonzalez, 23, was pronounced dead at the scene, while Angel died later in a hospital.
“He was my grandson, but he was like my son,” Erika Gonzalez said sobbingly over the phone on Friday.
She thinks her daughter’s boyfriend, Rigoberto Covarrubias, killed them.
Covarrubias, 36, is wanted as a person of interest in the homicide investigation and is believed to be armed and dangerous. Authorities believe he fled to Mexico.
Yesli Velazquez Gonzalez and her son lived with Covarrubias for over a year, according to Maria Velazquez.
Velazquez believes his sister was in an abusive relationship, sometimes showing up to family events with bruises or other injuries she couldn’t fully explain.
Covarrubias was possessive and held her and Angel on a short leash, according to Erika Gonzalez. He shared some details about himself or his own family in Texas. He was guarded, jealous and refused to let Angel visit unless he was present, Gonzalez said.
“He took them away from us. He didn’t want us to see them,” she said.
Angel, whom she often spoiled, was “the baby of the house,” Gonzalez said. “We just want there to be justice for them.”
Yesli Velazquez Gonzalez worked as an intervention aide at Geddes Elementary School in Baldwin Park. She had a motherly warmth that drew students to her, said a teacher, Claudia Barba.
“She learned quickly. She captured it all so quickly,” Barba said. “She was calm and patient, and she was so loving. The kids really responded to him so well.
The two often went out for lunch and talked about their lives. Gonzalez shared some details about Covarrubias, instead talking about his son and sharing photos of him smiling.
Maria Velazquez said her nephew and sister were inseparable.
“They were always together and always had a smile on their face,” she said. “They were loved by everyone.”
Los Angeles Times