This is Eliza Delacruz. Or rather, this WAS Eliza Delacruz.
On Sunday, a transient found the body of this ten-pound girl in a plastic bag stuffed in a dumpster behind an Imperial Beach strip mall, one hundred-twenty miles from the girl’s home.
Only twenty-one days.
Only 30,240 minutes.
Eliza Delacruz was only able to take about twenty breaths a minute times twenty-four hours times twenty-one days.
No more pretty dresses adorned in sparkles with a matching bow for her hair.
No more goodnight kisses.
It’s beyond senseless…beyond comprehension.
A beautiful three-week old infant girl, who, up until the moment she was torn from her mother’s arms and kidnapped, had been living for nine months in a safe womb, growing and maturing until she was born into a world she will never know.
Can you even imagine the pain her mother and father must feel?
I remember how my breasts ached if I didn’t nurse my son every couple of hours or so — Eliza’s mom’s body will respond to hormonal messages but there’s no baby to nurture and feed — nothing but the constant pain of a broken heart.
What hope is there for this world if someone could do this to an infant?
How can I be continually surprised at the dreadful cruelties perpetrated on animals when human life can be tossed in the trash?
I’m disgusted, disheartened, distressed, and depressed.
Are we so blasé about the deaths and murders and abuses and cruelties we’re bombarded with on a daily basis that this horrific story hasn’t stopped us in our tracks?
Have we become so desensitized to pain that we just say to ourselves, “tsk, tsk, so sad” — and move on?
This should be an event so overwhelmingly tragic that nothing else should matter.
But we turn the page of the newspaper, click to another channel, scroll down to read about another crime or shooting or rape and one horror pours into another horror on top of another horror and you know what?
We’re drowning under the weight of the terribleness of this world we inhabit.
From Long Beach to Imperial Beach, the killer probably drove down the coastline, maybe even some of us passed him on Highway 5 or Highway 101 and we were totally unaware.
Los Angeles County supervisors offered a $25,000 reward Tuesday to help catch an attacker who shot and wounded three members of a family and kidnapped a 3-week-old girl who was later found dead in a trash bin near the Mexican border.
The award for information leading to a capture and conviction comes a day after police said they had no leads and no motive for the Saturday attack in Long Beach that wounded the parents and uncle of Eliza Delacruz.
Detectives had only a vague description of a man who may be black or Hispanic and were trying to discover whether surveillance cameras in Imperial Beach may have captured any images.
The time and cause of the girl’s death had not been determined.
The girl’s father was released from the hospital but her mother and uncle remained in critical condition.
At a Monday news conference, Police Chief Robert Luna said the lack of direction in the investigation was frustrating.
“Somebody had to have seen or heard something,” he said.
The baby’s parents and uncle have spoken with police, but it was too early to know if the family was withholding clues, Luna said.
Detectives do not believe the crime was a random act, and the FBI is assisting in the investigation, Luna said.
The chief said nothing is being ruled out at this point, including that the gunman has fled to Mexico, or that family members or a drug cartel are involved.
In Imperial Beach, mourners erected a makeshift memorial of candles and flowers outside a pizza shop at the mall.
Aaron Cruz, who lives next door to the victims’ two-story stucco house, said the baby’s father is a veterinary technician who worked six days a week and was thrilled to be a dad.
Cruz, who described himself as the man’s best friend, said the family often hosted large barbecues on their front lawn after moving in a few years ago.
The baby’s parents and uncle lived there with another uncle and the baby’s grandparents, but no one else was there when the shooting happened, Cruz said.
Information sourced from KTLA/LATimes