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"Nobody knew"---Family of Roman Barreras says his parents made it impossible to know if he was okay

Craig Smith

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

"Nobody knew"---Family of Roman Barreras says his parents made it impossible to know if he was okay

By Craig Smith. CREATED Mar 6, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Uncles, aunts and other members of Roman Barreras extended family say the dead child's parents were so secretive they were unable to make sure the child was okay.

Family members Martin and Raquel Barreras would change addresses if anyone discovered where they were living. Some of them said they pushed Martin and Raquel Barreras for assurances the child was okay but the family worked so hard to hide, many family members never saw the child.

At first Roman Barrera's uncles and aunts did not know the sad story of a boy's bones would touch them.

In a news conference arranged by Homicide Survivors, Oscar Romero said, "I think it's very shocking when you hear something like that on the news, and you pray to God that this child is not someone you know, especially a family member."
    
Now they know the boy was Roman Barreras, a three year old many of them never even saw, because, they say, Roman's parents kept him hidden.

Frank Aguilar says, "Nobody could tell you where they lived from one day to the next. That's not because we didn't try to.  We all asked, "Where's Martin, where's Raquel with the babies.  Nobody knew."
     
Family members say Martin and Raquel Barreras were not always so secretive but they began to withdraw when financial troubles hit about six years ago.
     
Family members say they contacted Child Protective Services but got nowhere.
     
Now they say they want justice for Roman's parents, and peace for the boy most of them never knew.

Oscar Romero says, "We know that Roman is now in heaven...as he was a baby in….and is now an angel."

Family members say the last time they saw Roman was sometime in 2012.  They were not more specific than that but that still leaves at least a year and a few months since they last saw that little boy.

The family is hoping for donations to help bury Roman and provide for his surviving brothers and sisters.

If you'd like to help, contact Homicide Survivors at 520-740-5729 or through the organization's website.

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

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Craig enjoys using innovative writing and visuals to make difficult stories easier to understand. As a newsroom manager at KGUN 9, Craig was part of the team that won three best newscast awards from Arizona Associated Press