ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis family is breaking under the weight of a years-long cold case. Saturday marks 16 years since the death of Naeoky Guzman.
On June 25, 2006, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police said Naeoky was killed with a hammer at a home on Eichelberger Avenue near Ulena Avenue in south St. Louis.
Family members say no one has been arrested in the case, and loved ones are asking for clues on the anniversary of his death. Guzman’s mother, Dora Valenzuela, wiped away tears as she remembered detectives taking her to identify her son’s body.
“I’m like, ‘Who told you it was Naeoky?’ Somebody identified him. When I went there, and saw through a window, it was him,” said Valenzuela.
Naeoky’s sister Perla Guzman said the killer took more than her brother’s life.
“Before, it was like so many cousins, so many people just always together and loving each other, and having a good time,” said Guzman. “But now, it’s just like everyone is to themselves.”
Through the years, investigators said the case would be assigned to new detectives. FOX 2 reached out the St. Louis Metropolitan Department. In an email, they said they are looking into the status of this investigation.
Meanwhile, the family grows, but somehow is still stuck in 2006.
“Now, I’m having children,” Perla said. “My brother is having children. We talk about him, and you can see that the kids they would have loved to have known him.”
Naeoky Guzman gave his family camera rolls full of memories.
“He was always smiling, never mad,” said Valenzuela as she held a photo album packed with pictures.
Naeoky’s sister Perla Guzman described his adorable misunderstanding of how the Tooth Fairy does business.
“He would cut little pieces of paper and draw faces on them and put ‘5 dollars’. And on the back, it will say, ‘I can get five things from Naeoky’s room.’”
The family wants more than the memories. They hope someone can light a pathway to justice.
“It’s just so sad to know that people out there know what happened, or could give clues to what happened,” Perla said. “If they could find it inside themselves to come forward. Sixteen years is a long time.”
Family members and others have used the hashtag #JusticeForNaeoky on social media to raise awareness about the cold case. To learn more about the case, click here.