Fundraiser walk held for family of slain Spring Valley mother - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Fundraiser walk held for family of slain Spring Valley mother

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By News 8's Richard Allyn

PACIFIC BEACH, Calif. (CBS 8) - More than a hundred people showed up to remember a 28-year-old Spring Valley mother who was murdered - in front of her ten-year-old son - by her son's father.

Saturday's tribute to Avitha Rafael also included a walk-a-thon to raise money for the care and education of her son, Damien.

"Thank God for these people, for their support," said Alvin Rafael, Avitha's father. "There are some highs and lows; there are some good days and there are some bad days."

According to police, Avitha Rafael was brutally murdered on August 13th by her ex-boyfriend, 33-year-old Krisanto Jopanda, the father of Damien. Damien witnessed the killing outside of his Spring Valley home, and called 911 for help.

Jopanda killed himself later that same day.

"It was a devastating, horrific thing that happened in front of a ten-year-old," said Alina Taylor, a co-worker of Avitha who organized Saturday's fundraising event. "I have a 22-month-old son and I couldn't imagine a little kid having to go through what that kid has gone through."

Damien is now under the care of his maternal grandparents, and "is doing as well as he can," according to Alvin Rafael.

Donations for the family can be made at any San Diego County Credit Union, account number 3900006


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