Family wants answers after father's death, LRPD looking for suspect

Pena's children honor fallen father

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Another Little Rock family plagued by the city's recent streak of deadly violence is asking why as they struggle with the heartbreak of losing a loved one.

Before Jesus Peña's children prepare to transport their father's body to be laid to rest next to his mother in Mexico, they shared a special moment as they prayed over the place where their father was killed one week ago. Peña came to this country as a young man with his wife and two young children.

"They came here with nothing. They came here with everything. They came with hope, and more than anything a sense of 'don't take from America, give,'” explained Pena’s eldest child, Lupe Peña de Martinez.

Last week, someone took the most precious thing from Jesus Peña's family, they took his life.

"We moved from California because it was getting too dangerous. He wouldn't go back to Mexico, because it was too dangerous. How ironic, that he gets killed here just doing his job,” Martinez said.

Peña was doing work on an apartment at 220 North Taylor Street on November 22 when police say a man walked through the front door and held Peña and two others at gun point. The man shot Peña and robbed him in front of his employee and her 12 year-old daughter.

"Knowing my father had passed, I was at peace with that, until I allowed myself to think that he didn't pass," Martinez said. "He was murdered. He was murdered by someone for his wallet and his cell phone. That man shot my father, and took his stuff, and left him there to die."

Police said they think the robber acted on a crime of opportunity. The police are working to find Peña's murderer, but Peña's family are still trying to comprehend the motive.

"Do you think your parents would be proud of this, what you're doing? What you're doing to families," said Lupe’s brother, Miguel.

The small business owner and father of six, Jesus Peña, will be buried beside his mother back in Mexico.

"While he loved America, he was here, to make sure we were okay, but his heart, was Jalisco," Martinez said.

That leaves the family with many challenges to give their father a proper burial. In order to get Peña's body to Jalisco, the family will have to secure visas, pay funeral home costs, and pay cargo air fare.

"We are very hopeful that the Arkansas Victim's Compensation Fund will come through, but you still have to pay for it up front," Martinez said.

As they face those challenges, they are left with many questions and are hoping for answers.

"I'm not a vengeance seeking person, but he's still out there. He still had thanksgiving with his family,” Martinez said.

She just wants to make sure that her father's killer doesn't hurt anyone else. No one should have to go through the suffering the children of Jesus Peña have.

The family has established a GoFundMe to help cover those fees. If you want to donate, you can click here.

If you have any information on who killed Jesus Peña, you are advised to call Little Rock Police Department.



JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment