Victim's mother struggles to cope with son's murder - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Victim's mother struggles to cope with son's murder

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SAN DIEGO (CBS8) - While police continue their search for the person responsible for killing 20-year-old Sonny Carrillo, his mother finds it difficult to believe she'll never see her son alive again.

"I love him dearly and I want my son back," Connie Meza told News 8 Monday evening.

Her closest friend of 37 years, Connie Vallajo, says Meza has had to seek medical help as a result of Friday night's tragedy and goes from understanding her loss to denying it completely.

"She went into the hospital looking for her son, she had her son's jacket with her and her toothbrush and she said her son needed his jacket and she's just really in denial," explains Vallajo.

Sonny's family invited News 8 to their home to showcase the person he was to them.

"I don't want to accept he's gone and dead the way everybody is telling me, it is not fair, he's just an innocent 20 year old boy," said Meza.

Sonny had left his mom's home just before ten Friday night heading towards his girlfriend's house for dinner, but his mom says a phone call diverted him.

"This girl named Samantha called him up to ask him for a ride to drop off her daughter."

Sonny picked up Samantha and her daughter, along with another woman and drove to the Creekside Villas Apartments near 47th and Castana Streets in Lincoln Park.

Police say just before 11:30 p.m. an argument broke out between the father of the child and the mother while Sonny sat in his car.

"All of a sudden this guy just came and attacked my son and stabbed him in the heart," Connie Meza says.

Police say the person responsible for the attack is 21-year-old Julio Cesar Mendez, who also uses the surname Vega. He was last seen running from the apartment parking lot.

Meanwhile, family friends reflect on Sonny's character and how it is likely partly responsible for putting him at the wrong place at the wrong time.

"He had a big heart and always helped everybody, and I really think because of this big heart he had this tragic happened to him," recalls Vallajo.

Family and friends say besides a big heart, Sonny had a good head on his shoulders, spent four years in ROTC and planned a career in the Marine Corp.

Sonny's grandfather says the suspect should turn himself into authorities or to God.

Faith, friends and family are the three things Connie needs most now as she tries to deal with the fourth death in 20 years. She's lost two husbands to suicide and another son to murder.

"I don't know what's going to happen to me," Meza says. "I don't know if God's going to give me the strength to get through it you know."

The family is working on getting an account setup at Chase bank for the public to assist with any amount they're willing to donate towards funeral services.

Check back for details to be posted online as soon as they're received.

A viewing for Sonny Carrillo will be from 5 to 9 p.m. at Glen Abbey in Bonita on Thursday. He'll be laid to rest on Friday.

Meanwhile, anyone with information on Julio Mendez is asked to call Crimestoppers.

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