Family of Fort Bragg soldier holds vigil in Raleigh 2 years after he was shot and killed

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The family of a slain Fort Bragg soldier held a vigil to honor him on Friday, exactly two years after his death.

Jose Melendez Jr. was shot and killed on Nov. 29, 2017, in Raleigh. Melendez was an Army Specialist.

"Not only did they take a brother from me, my only brother. They took away a son from a mother and a father. They took away a soldier from the Army," said Mara Baker, Melendez's sister.

Melendez, 31, was found lying in a parking lot on in the 2200 block of Raven Road. That's where the candlelight vigil was held Friday night.

"I can recall having the Fayetteville Police come knock at my door at 8:30 in the morning to tell me the news," said Andres Ramos, Melendez's father.

Baker gave a speech at Friday's vigil.

"I am now my parents' last surviving child. So it hurts to try and fulfill his shoes," Baker said. "You're enjoying Thanksgiving, but you know in the back of your mind the one person you want there is no longer living."

The family wants to raise awareness about gun violence in North Carolina. They're still hoping someone will come forward with information in the killing.

"Somebody out there knows something and all we want is for them to come forward," Ramos, Melendez's father, told ABC11 in May. "There is a family out there in serious pain and we try every day to move forward."

Baker also hopes for closure and justice for her family. She had a message for anyone involved or who might have any information about the case.

"It's cowardness. It's hiding behind the bushes, hiding information that you might know just because you're scared," Baker said. "We're all scared. Because the killer is still out there."
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