Visalia Police Baffled By Teen's Death

July 8, 2009 8:04:58 PM PDT
Cathy Moore couldn't help becoming attached to 17 year old Emilio Molina. "There wasn't a day that went by that Emilio didn't come and hug me." She saw him everyday at the Visalia Boys and Girls Club where he often helped staff members with activities. June 27th police said someone brutally beat Emilio Molina on the head with a blunt object knocking him unconscious. Moore said, "I was horrified, I couldn't imagine this would be Emilio. He posed a physical threat to no one."

A woman driving to work around midnight saw his body lying under a truck right across the street from Mt. Whitney High School where he would have been a senior. There were so many heartfelt messages from kids and counselors at the Boys and Girls Club they needed a second poster to put them on.

Emilio's friend Mark Thompson said, "It's hard to know that someone would do this and think they got away with taking someone's life." Visalia Police admit they're having a hard time with this case. Sgt. Ernie Villa said, "The whole case is unusual. We have no witnesses, no physical evidence as to the weapon used to assault him."

Those who knew him can't understand it either. Galen Quenzer, the Executive Director of Visalia's Boys and Girls Club said, "Emilio was a good friend to the young kids too. He was a role model for them." Emilio had even won the club's "Youth of the Year" competition. Quenzer said, "Which is a big process, you have to get references, write essays, give a speech, go before a panel of judges.

Cathy Moore said going to work just won't be the same knowing Emilio won't be waiting with a hug. "I really pray that Emilio didn't know what happened. I hope his last memory is him happily walking down the street."

Friends from the youth club are having a car wash Thursday morning to help Emilio's family pay for his funeral. It will be held at the Boys and Girls Club of Visalia on Tulare Avenue near Court from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

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