BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A son and father known for his upbeat personality leaves behind a son and many loved ones.
On Sunday, KCSO got a call about a body that had been found on the side of the road on Breckenridge Road near Pepper Street.
The victim was Angel Melendez, 27, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds KCSO says.
The family spoke to 17 News a day after Melendez was found as they try to wrap their heads around what transpired over the last 24 hours.
“I feel like it’s a bad dream that I can’t wake up … I just can’t wake up,” Michelle Monzon, Melendez’s oldest sister said.
Melendez’s girlfriend says he called her earlier on Sunday as he was home watching his favorite NFL team, the San Francisco 49ers, play just hours before his body was found. Melendez was going to meet up with his girlfriend but never arrived.
The family describes Melendez as a light, and was the life of any social occasion.
“We’re going to miss him because he always came in with that light,” Melendez’ other sister Melissa Quair said.
The death of Melendez brings Kern County’s total homicide count at 88 for 2019. Homicides are a tragic trend in Kern County that now involve the Melendez family as another family torn by gun violence.
“We just ask that if you do have any information please contact detectives or let us know your information,” Quair said. “Because this has been going on in Bakersfield and people need to be put behind bars for doing the things that they’re doing,” Quair said.
A candlelight vigil was held Monday night where the body was found just off the side of the road by an orange tree field on Breckenridge Road.
Dozens of family and friends gathered in near-complete darkness to remember the life of Melendez. With the remaining family of Melendez in attendance at Monday’s vigil, they say the only thing they have left is one another.
“If you have family, hang on to them, don’t let them go because tomorrow is never promised. I wish I would have known that,” Monzon said.
Melendez leaves behind a family of 10 brothers and sisters as well as a son and was expecting another child soon.
If you would like to help the family with funeral expenses, the family has set up a fundraising campaign on Facebook.
At this time the investigation is ongoing as the exact cause of death will be released by the coroner’s office within the next few days.
If there is any information you may have regarding this case you are urged to call the Kern County Sheriff’s Office at 661-861-3110 or the Secret Witness Line at 661-322-4040.