Friends remember 22-year-old Visalia man who was stabbed to death while walking home

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Jasper Miller had a hard upbringing while growing up in foster care, but friends say he was always positive. (KFSN)

A close friend of 22-year-old Jasper Miller is sharing a video that he shot of him just a few weeks before he was killed.

Miller was simply walking home from work late at night two weeks ago when he was robbed, stabbed in the chest and left for dead.

Life sometimes speaks to you in mysterious ways and sometimes we don't get the message until it's too late. That was the case for Miller, because one month after he said "I think 2017 is going to be a whole better year," he was found murdered in Visalia.

"When I got the call I immediately thought of the video," said Leo Gonzalez, who was Miller's friend.

Gonzalez recorded the video of Miller for a motivational Youtube series he produces called "The Life Project."

"He did it, he did it so willingly," Gonzalez said.

It showcases people sharing stories of struggle and perseverance. It's something Miller encountered after growing up in foster care homes.

"We over think the little things," Gonzalez said. "We should be thankful for the small things people take for granted, like family."

Gonzalez and Miller were also friends. So, when he replayed the footage he never posted for the first time and heard what Miller said about this being his year of hope, he was heartbroken.

"It was really hard to hear that because for these past few years, he's been building up to this empire of just a happy place and 2017 was that," he said. "And it's like he went from season to season of pain to just being finished and it's not fair."

But instead of focusing on how Miller died, Gonzalez is going to use this video to honor his life.

"I feel so lucky to have a video of Jasper breathing and smiling," he said. "They took him away, just a person who wanted to make people feel loved."

He's hoping that even in Miller's death, his message will empower someone else.

"I'm happy that I can put those thoughts out there for other people to think about so people don't miss out on their opportunities to grow the way that I did," Miller said in the video.

At this point, police are still trying to track down his killer.

For the full video, click here.

Related Topics:
tulare countyhomicide investigationVisalia
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