Family continues to grieve loss of son, killed at age 14

Feb. 20, 2012 at 5 p.m.
Updated Feb. 20, 2012 at 8:21 p.m.

Robert L. Licerio Jr. was murdered nine years ago, and the case is still not closed. He would have turned 23 on Feb. 20.

Robert L. Licerio Jr. was murdered nine years ago, and the case is still not closed. He would have turned 23 on Feb. 20.

A family continues to grieve the 9-year-old unsolved murder of Robert L. Licerio Jr., who would have turned 23 Monday.

Robert was killed Oct. 24, 2003, at his mother's apartment in the 3100 block of Sam Houston Drive.

His mother, Callie Cano, who had sole custody of her son, remembered he left home to spend two weeks with his father. She picked him up and brought him back to her house the night before he was killed.

Robert was shot four times as he lay sleeping on the couch in his mother's living room.

Cano was awakened by the shots about 1 a.m. and came into the living room to find her 14-year-old son still on the couch, bleeding and gasping for air. She ran out and saw a dark-colored, four-door car driving off.

A neighbor tried to help Cano keep her son alive, but he died within minutes before emergency medical service personnel arrived.

The night before the shooting, Cano's youngest child, Joshua Cano, a toddler with cerebral palsy, asked to sleep with his brother on the couch in the living room, but Cano had insisted the child sleep in his own bed.

"If I had let him stay there, I would have lost them both," Cano said. "It still hurts. It was very scary. I had three other children living with me at the time."

Cano's other children still live with her, Angel Cano, 21, Mia Amador, 20, and Joshua Cano, now 13.

As the anniversary of his birth approached, his father, Robert Licerio Sr., and his mother seek closure.

"He was only 14 years old. He was still in school," said his cousin Evett Peña. "We want to know why he was shot. He didn't do anything."

Robert was a freshman at Memorial High School and attended church regularly at Faith Family Church.

"We want someone to come forward with information," said his father.

The shooting death is still an open case with the Victoria Police Department, said Sgt. Eline Moya, police spokeswoman. However, it has become a cold case because all the leads the police had at the time have been exhausted.

Cold cases are reviewed periodically by the investigations supervisor to see if anything was missed or if any of the information connected to the case seems connected to newer cases, Moya said.

"If anyone at any time has information regarding any kind of crime or murder, they need to come forward and tell us," Moya said.

Information can be reported directly to the detectives by calling the homicide unit, or information can be reported anonymously to the police department by calling the Crime Stoppers.

"Once we are investigating the wheels of justice start turning," Moya said.

While some cases flow more quickly than others, cases are investigated until there is an arrest, Moya said.

"Whenever we do have any case of a sensitive nature, involving a murder or any case in general, the investigation becomes difficult when there is hesitation from the family, or any witnesses," Moya said. "Any first-hand information that is attached to that case helps us get further in the investigation."



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