Family of murdered Ft. Bragg soldier search for answers

Wake County News

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – Monday marks exactly 20 months since Army Specialist Jose Melendez was shot and killed in the parking lot of a Raleigh apartment complex.

Nearly two years have passed since the soldier’s murder and his family still have no answers.  Jose Melendez would have turned 33 years old on Monday.

“I wanna tell him that I miss him,” said Mara Ramos, the soldier’s mother. “I miss him every day. There’s not a day that I don’t think about him and I will see him one day.” 

Mara and Jose Ramos. Courtesy: Mara Ramos

On November 29th, 2017, Mara Ramos says her son had been the designated driver. He was taking some friends to a bar in Raleigh. The Fort Bragg soldier was walking to his car parked on Raven Road when someone shot him in the jaw. 

“People don’t know,” said Ramos. “They see me all strong, go to work, but it really drains you and especially not knowing who killed him and why.”

Ramos believes the Raleigh Police Department isn’t doing enough to get justice for her son.

“They got some evidence,” Ramos explained. “It was not analyzed 20 months ago. I don’t know why but they have a new detective assigned to my son’s case.”

Even though time has passed, it hasn’t gotten easier for Ramos.

“Actually it gets worse,” Ramos said. “You actually realize he’s gone, you know because at the beginning you’re like in shock, like your son is dead. You don’t really grasp that, but now you realize he’s really gone.”

She still visits her son’s grave every single day.

“I just ask Jose every time I go to the cemetery, and every day I wake up and ask him and ask God to help us.”

There is a $20,000 reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest. Raleigh Police tell us they have no updates or new leads in the investigation. 

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