WSVN — Ernesto Ardines had something in Cuba that many people don't even bother to have: Dreams and aspirations.
Translation of Raul Ardines, Ernesto's Uncle: "He studied in Cuba until the third year, and once he concluded, he decided to travel to the United States in search of a new horizon, a new life as a teen."
In 2006, Ernesto moved to Hialeah to live with his uncle's family and to continue to study computer engineering.
Raymel Perez, Ernesto's Cousin: "He was a very smart kid, very happy all the time. You could tell he had no worries."
Ernesto's family said he didn't have an enemy in the world, which made an October day in 2009 so difficult to believe.
Raul Ardines: "He was talking with the girlfriend all the time he was here. Around 10 at night, they went to Starbucks on for a coffee."
Patrick Fraser: "After they had their coffee, Ernesto and his girlfriend named Michelle parked here near North Twin Lakes Elementary School to talk. A few minutes later, a man in dark clothing wearing a hood came walking up. Ernesto saw him."
Detective Eduardo Salazar, Hialeah Police: "And tells her in Spanish, 'Get out of here, get out of here,' she sees this unknown person holding a weapon, and she starts backing out of the vehicle when shots are fired inside the vehicle. It was multiple shots, and they struck the decedent Ernesto multiple times on the right side of his body."
Michelle, 911 Call: "Oh my God!"
911 Operator: "Hello?"
Michelle: "Help me!"
911 Operator: "What is the address? I can't help you without the address!"
Detective Eduardo Salazar: "While talking to 911, she's trying to make it to Palmetto Hospital, where she loses control and crashes into a total of three other vehicles."
Michelle was not hurt in the accident, but Ernesto was already dead.
Michelle, 911 Call: "Ernesto! Ernesto!"
Ernesto's family in Hialeah and Cuba were devastated.
Raymel Perez: "This family, especially in this household, it's never been the same. They took him in as a son and, especially the family in Cuba, imagine getting that phone call."
At the time, the girlfriend Michelle told detectives it was too dark to identify the killer.
Ernesto's family tried to talk to her to get more information, but she made it clear she didn't want to talk to them.
Raul Ardines: "She never contacted us, nor do we know where she lives. She even moved."
Raymel doubts the motive was robbery.
Raymel Perez: "Ernesto was a very simple guy. He didn't walk around flashing jewelry. He was always broke. All he did was study."
No clear motive for detectives, meaning they have to investigate many motives.
Detective Eduardo Salazar: "Could have been somebody owed money, it could have been a robbery, it could have been jealousy. Too many factors right now and not enough facts to back any of them."
Three years after he came to the United States for a better life, Ernesto was murdered. Two years after his death, the killer is still on the loose.
Raymel Perez: "You should never be afraid of people like this. On the contrary, we've got to stand up and take people like this off the streets."
And now the family wants one thing: For people who know something, people the killer has bragged to, to stand up and take that person off the street.
Raul Ardines: "Today, it happened with a guy that no one knew. Tomorrow, it can happen with a person you do know, because a person that is willing to do such a thing, they will do it to another."
If you know who might have ambushed Ernesto, be the person to make an anonymous phone call. No one will ever know you did it, and you will know you stopped a killer from murdering again by making one phone call to Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers.
Also, if you worry that people have forgotten about your loved one that was murdered, give us a call and discover how many people are still Out for Justice.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers: 305-471-TIPS
Out For Justice: 305-598-HELP (4357) in Miami-Dade or 954-796-HELP (4357) in Broward