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Family, friends remember Victoria man at vigil (w/video)

By Bianca Montes
June 19, 2014 at 1:19 a.m.

Joseph Valdez's nephew, Santana Valdez, 6, of Victoria, signs his name on a candle before the vigil at the 1100 block of Warren Avenue, where Valdez was fatally stabbed.

Melissa Morin just couldn't continue singing as she tried to belt out the soulful lyrics of "Amazing Grace."

Instead, she dropped to the ground, her blue jeans scraping against the concrete slab, and wept. A lone woman continued to belt out the words as Morin cried, "I miss you, Joseph ... I miss you, brother."

Close to 50 people gathered outside Thursday evening to honor the life of 35-year-old Joseph Valdez. Valdez was fatally stabbed by his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Victoria police detective Tanya Brown said.

He was a character; always laughing, always happy, friends said about Valdez at the candlelight vigil.

"I don't even know where to start," Crystal Gonzales said when trying to describe her cousin. "I grew up with him.

"When I was about 8 or 9, I lived with my grandma, and he lived next door in the duplex. There was a hammock out front on the porch, and he would tell me to get in it and wrap myself up really tight, and he'd just spin me."

Victoria police officers responded to a bloody domestic call early Wednesday morning, where they found Valdez lying in the street with a single knife wound to the chest.

Valdez died about an hour later at DeTar Hospital Navarro, according to a news release issued by the Victoria Police Department.

The front stairs, which were smeared in blood Wednesday, were washed clean by Valdez's sister, and in place, blue candles with messages written in silver sharpie on them burned.

"He was taken from us in a way he shouldn't have been," Morin said. "He was so loving, and he was the life of our family - he'll be missed."

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