Vicky Morgan’s fingers brush over the cursive letters tattooed above her right wrist that spell out the name of her son, who was slain five years ago.
“I’m still living that day,” she says, referring to April 3, 2011. That day her son, Jesse, was found dead in a west-side park.
His killer hasn’t been found.
Family members of victims of three unsolved Tucson homicides gathered Tuesday morning in honor of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
“Our theme this year is ‘Serving victims, building trust and restoring hope,’ ” said Becky Porter, a spokeswoman for Tucson’s Homicide Survivors Inc.
“We want to give hope to the families that have unsolved cases, that their cases will be solved.”
Tuesday’s event highlighted four unsolved cases, which Porter said are only a small portion of the open homicide investigations in Tucson.
“It’s important not to forget them,” Porter said. “There’s always someone who knows something about the case.”
Jesse Morgan II
The body of 25-year-old Jesse Morgan II was discovered around 4 a.m. April 3, 2011, by a man riding his bike past Vista del Pueblo Park.
The Tucson Police Department’s gang unit responded to the park, in the area of West Starr Pass and South La Cholla boulevards.
Morgan had gang ties at one time in his life, but it was unknown at the time of his death if the affiliation was recent.
He was found with what police called “obvious signs of trauma,” but few other details about his death have been released.
The park Morgan was found in is across the street from a church, which his mother says she prays was the last thing Jesse saw before he died.
“If anyone knows anything, please help me find justice for my son,” Vicky Morgan said. “Let them know that mama’s not giving up.”
Tovar Salazar didn’t find out about her son’s death until three days after he was found shot to death in a south-side parking lot.
Tomas Tovar, 36, was shot outside Food City, 2000 E. Irvington Road, shortly before 10 p.m. April 26, 2014.
Tovar was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Salazar said that in the two years since her son’s death, she’s found comfort with other families involved with Homicide Survivors.
“We’re all hurting, but we also know what we need to do,” she said. “The group gives me hope that this will be solved.”
At the time of the shooting, police said, many people were in the store’s parking lot.
“Please come out and tell us,” Salazar asked of anyone who may have information about her son’s death. “Do what you can. This could be you.”
At the time detectives were searching for a gray or silver Dodge Magnum that was seen leaving the area shortly after the shooting.
Maribel Gonzalez, 13, told her mother she was going to a friend’s house on June 3, 2014 — three days before her body was found near West Avra Valley Road by a Pima County sheriff’s deputy responding to a call about suspicious activity.
Her mother, Valerie Colange, learned about her daughter’s death while watching the news.
“I still have so much pain,” she said. “(Maribel) was a beautiful person who didn’t deserve what happened to her.”
The sheriff’s department hasn’t released a cause of death or any other details about Gonzalez’s death, saying it could hinder to the investigation.
Gonzalez’s body was found on the east side of North Trico Road, about a half-mile south of West Avra Valley Road — miles across town from Gonzalez’s home at the time.
Because of the distance, Colange believes her daughter was driven there by someone she knew — Maribel wouldn’t have gotten into a car with a stranger, her mom says.
“I know someone knows something,” Colange said. “I pray to God that they’ll come forward.
When Tucson police responded to reports of a shooting shortly after 6 p.m. on Oct. 13, 2015, they found 20-year-old Zachary Corbut dead inside a north-side home.
A resident of the home, in the 1400 block of East Grant Road, called 911 to report the shooting, which police believe to be a random act of violence.
Homicide detectives learned that several people were inside the house when multiple suspects entered through the rear, assaulted a man and shot Corbut, then fled.
No suspects were identified to the public.
Anyone with information about any of these unsolved cases is asked to call 911 or 88-CRIME, the anonymous tip line.