CORAL SPRINGS, FLA. (WSVN) - The parents of a Coral Springs infant who, police said, was killed during a violent rampage that unfolded across parts of Broward County said they are living a nightmare but have forgiven the suspect.
Mateo was just 10 months old when, investigators said, he was found seriously injured inside an apartment on the 4100 block of Northwest 88th Avenue, Friday. His aunt, Elizabeth Carmona, was found dead inside the unit.
The child was taken to Broward Health Medical Center, where he later died.
Speaking with 7News on Wednesday, his parents, Maria Carmona and Jose Morales, said their son had just started using his walker to get around his home.
The infant’s parents said Elizabeth had just come from Colombia a week ago to help care for the boy.
“Always happy, she always was singing, she always was smiling,” said Maria.
Mateo’s parents said the child and Elizabeth had a special bond.
Police said they were brutally murdered by their neighbor, 35-year-old Dale Spidle.
“The times that we spoke with him, I can count them in my hand. It was no more than, ‘Hey, how are you?’ ‘Good morning,'” said Maria.
Investigators said Spidle knocked on his neighbors’ door on Friday, and Elizabeth answered the door.
Police said the suspect beat Elizabeth and Mateo with a hammer and took off.
Detectives said Spidle continued his gruesome crime spree, leading to three crashes.
During one of the crashes, police said, Spidle shot and killed an innocent man on the roadway.
He was eventually taken into custody at a Shell gas station along the 4700 block of Sample Road in Coconut Creek.
Mateo’s parents said they have learned about forgiveness, faith and unconditional love from their son, adding they forgive the man who has caused them unimaginable pain.
“If I don’t do that, that’s going to hurt me. It’s not going to hurt him,” said Morales. “I don’t want to live my life like this.”
“In pain, in pain every day, because you hated someone,” said Maria.
Mateo’s parents said they are praying a lot and leaning on God to help them heal. They said their only hope is that the boy is with his loving aunt, and the two are together.
“They’re going to go to heaven together, and they’re going to be in the same church together. They’re going to be together for the rest of their lives,” said Maria. “I was his mom on this earth, but now, over in heaven, I give my baby to her.”
A joint funeral for Mateo and Elizabeth has been scheduled for next week. Family members have set up a GoFundMe page to help with expenses. If you would like to make a donation, click here.
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