BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Family members of a Bakersfield baby that died three years ago in the hands of his caretaker are coming together to celebrate his life.
Today, would have been Guillermo Alvarez’s sixth birthday.
An autopsy shows the toddler died as a result of trauma and now the family fears his killer might be set free three years after he was charged with his murder.
Every year, Frances Hurtado gets balloons and a cake to celebrate her grandson, Guillermo’s birthday.
“It means a lot to me,” she said.
Like always, she walks it over to surprise him.
“Just cry baby, he’s just spoiled,” said Hurtado.
Together with the family, they sing.
“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you.”
Her only wish is that Guillermo would be here to enjoy it.
“He’s not able to hear us and we’re not able to hug him or kiss him, or hold on to him, none of that other stuff that I could do with my other grandkids,” she said.
Four years ago, he was found not breathing while under the care of his mother’s ex-boyfriend, Joshua Preston who was later arrested and charged for his murder.
“We’re missing out on that opportunity that we’re not going to have. You know, to see him play sports, to see him graduate from junior high, from high school, that’s just a lot of things we’re going to miss out on,” said his great aunt.
The boy’s killer remains in jail and the family hopes he will stay there for taking away an innocent child.
“I love and I miss my nephew a lot and I tend to hide it a lot, but I miss him, I miss him a lot. I could never go to the court dates and stuff because I was always in school and keeping up with my son and pushing forward, but it’s hard with him not being here,” said aunt Frances Hurtado.
Relatives say Guillermo loved to smile and laugh and the memories he created with family members will live on forever.
“I will always be here for you. You will always have a spot in my heart. I love you so much baby, I will never forget you,” said Hurtado.
Joshua Preston is scheduled to appear in court next month for sentencing. Guillermo Alvarez’s family tell 23ABC they all plan on being there.
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