Fresno County murder victim's family facing another tragedy

FRESNO, Calif.

/*Luis Mercado*/ is in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to his wife, Mindy Mercado.

Mindy told Action News her husband went into a deep depression when their son was killed, causing him to miss his deportation court proceedings.

Their attorney is writing a motion for the court to re-open his immigration case.

/*Alex Mercado*/ was murdered in 2009. "It's hard for us to be out and to see people walking and laughing and enjoying themselves," said Minder Mercado. "It's hard to see that life still continues."

A part of the continuation of life for Luis is to fight for a chance to stay in the United States legally. Mindy says Luis came to California, from El Salvador when he was 14 years old. She says his immigration case was put on hold when Alex died in 2009.

The Mercado family sat through weeks of court proceedings in their son's murder case in 2011. Luis' immigration case was picked up last year, but Luis couldn't even face his grief, let alone the court.

"He went into a really bad depression where we couldn't share memories. He has his memories of our son, I have mine," Mindy said. "We just could never share them because he didn't want to see me cry and I didn't want to see him cry."

Mindy tells Action News she's hired an attorney and reached out to Valley Congressman David Valadeo, asking his office to help delay the deportation so they can file paperwork. Valadeo's office would only say they work hard to protect and assist their constituents. The congressman said in an email "my heart goes out to the Mercado family for the loss of their son. As a father of three young children, I cannot imagine the pain they must feel."

That pain, Mindy says tore the family apart. "We've lost a family member and it's hard to think that we're losing another one," she said.

Mindy says Luis' legal status here became an issue with ice because of a domestic violence incident several years ago. She says Luis has not been violent since.

The family attorney said he is finishing up his paperwork. He will file the paperwork Thursday in a Bay Area courtroom.

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