Walk held in Merced to remember victims of violence

FRESNO, Calif.

The annual memorial was led by the mother of two brothers who were killed at different times in the same neighborhood. Dozens walked along Merced sidewalks on a painful path leading to the place where the two young men were killed.

"Just like yesterday five years later," the victim's mother Marylene Riley said.

Riley felt the loss the most. She lost her two sons 11 months apart and half a mile away from each other to violence. In 2008 29-year-old Michael Riley, a navy veteran who was excelling at Merced College, was shot and killed outside apartments in Merced. Almost a year later Merced police found his younger brother, Marlis beaten to death not far from where Michael died.

"Very positive spirit, loving, caring kind, people person, very well educated, Marlis was the life of the party, he was happy go lucky, always smiling, always laughing," Riley said.

On Saturday afternoon loved ones held the annual Riley Brothers Victims Vigil Walk. They reflected on the brothers lives and prayed for renewed hope for justice.

"For them to have died in the way they passed away it was very heartfelt, it hurts, we are still grieving over their deaths because there hasn't been any closure," Shemika Green from Merced said.

Officers have arrested those responsible for Marlis' death, but they are still looking for Michael's killer. A $50,000 reward is being offered for anyone that helps on the arrest and conviction of the killer. But for detective Joe Deliman who is in charge of the case and attended the memorial it has been a frustrating five years.

"I have talked to people in the past who were out there. I try to re-interview them and they tell me I am scared to come forward," Det. Joe Deliman with Merced Police said.

Family members are pleading and hoping this is the year someone will finally step up.

"If you know or seen, heard just to get in contact with them please, because if it was me, I would have come forward for your loved ones, so if you know please come forward for mine," Riley said.

Merced police are reminding the public you can call 209-385-4725 to report any information about the murder of Michael Riley and you can remain anonymous.

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