Fayetteville family awaits answers 2 years after soldier’s murder

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Today marks two years since a Fort Bragg soldier was gunned down outside of a Raven Road apartment complex.

The family has no idea why this happened, and still no one has been arrested in this case.

CBS 17 joined the family during a vigil today at the Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery. They also gathered at the site of the crime for a vigil.

Andres Ramos spent 20 years serving our country as a special forces soldier.He was deployed to combat zones including Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jose Melendez

“Definitely had my fair share of close calls,” Ramos said.

He beat all of those close calls at war, only to have tragedy hit at home.

“It wasn’t my time, sadly it was his time,” Ramos said.

His son, Jose Melendez, was shot and killed two years ago.

After Jose’s murder, Andres found his son’s notebook with five dreams written on it.

“Last thing that he wrote was that he wanted to follow in my footsteps.”

The 31-year-old was an Army Specialist, who also served in Iraq. His name is now etched in stone at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville.

He was planning to be in special forces just like his father.

“He wasn’t given that opportunity, someone took that away from him.”

Jose’s loved ones met at his grave Friday to release balloons in his honor.

“I miss him every day,” his sister Mara Baker said.

Holidays aren’t the same for this family.

“You can’t help to know there’s an empty chair next to you,” Baker said.

Two years later and still no answers, but Jose’s grieving mother hasn’t given up hope.

“I can’t even imagine how I will feel the day that we find out what happened,” Mara Ramos said.

In the meantime, the family stays busy keeping Jose’s case out there.

His initials were put on NFL helmets at a New England Patriots game.

Andres even gave owner Robert Kraft a painting he did in his son’s honor.

Jose used to love creating abstract art.

“The gold star in all my paintings are him looking down on us,” Ramos explained.

While the family waits for answers about who killed him, they know where their son is now.

“I know he is with God,” Mara Ramos said.

There is a $20,000 reward offered for any information that leads to an arrest in this case.

Call Raleigh police if you have any tips.

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