Valley family rocked by a violent tragedy finds comfort

FRESNO, Calif.

Mindy Mercado was so thankful to spend her first full day with her husband, Luis. He was released by immigration and customs enforcement Monday night, and now has to wear an ankle bracelet. He hid from our cameras, but Mindy says after all the family has been through, she's just happy to have him home.

"It's just been a roller coaster," said Mindy. "Some days are better than others but we have our memories."

Alex Mercado was only four when he was molested and murdered by a 14-year-old neighbor.

"Since I lost my son it feels like trial after trial keeps coming," said Mindy. "It seems like I can never just go through one trial as I try to get better from it, it seems like another one was coming."

That huge trial came to their doorstep earlier this year when immigration and customs enforcement took her husband into custody on a domestic violence charge from several years ago.

"He was going through so much with the loss of our son," said Mindy. "He didn't have anyone to speak with and no one to help him the pain he was going through."

Mindy told us her husband came to California from El Salvador when he was 14. His immigration case was put on hold when Alex was killed. But, he fell into a deep depression and missed some important deportation court dates.

She told Action New, "I was at the breaking point when my husband was taken and I really didn't know what to do."

Mindy hired an attorney and called Valley Congressman David Valadeo, asking for help.

"They were able to ask questions and find out things for me," said Mindy. "Things to do and what not to do, they really stepped up."

The Mercado's are hoping to get a special visa for Luis, a visa that is given to victims of serious crimes that would allow him to stay in the U.S. legally. He goes to court on the issue in the fall.

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