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Family of New Year's murder victim asks known suspect to come forward

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Family of New Year's murder victim asks known suspect to come forward

By Rikki Mitchell. CREATED Jan 9, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Patrick Balbastro's family can't bring themselves to take down the Christmas decorations.

"My New Year hasn't started, it hasn't been a happy New Year," said his sister, who does not want to be identified.

Patrick Balbastro and Cindy Burnett were killed only a couple of hours into the New Year and on Thursday, Patrick's family got to see the face of the man police say ran them both over with a car.

Twenty-nine-year-old Michael Leday is the sole suspect in this case, but police have yet to find him.

"His whereabouts at this time are unknown," said Lt. James Graves with Tucson Police. "But we are working diligently to locate him and bring him to justice."

And justice is exactly what Patrick's sister wants.

"We definitely want justice," she said. "Next time I see his face, I want to see him in court."

Police say Leday and Burnett were in some kind of argument on the side of the road. Balbastro and his girlfriend, who was also critically injured in the attack, saw Burnett in trouble and stopped to help. Police consider Balbastro a "good samaritan."

Now that Patrick Balbastro's sister has seen the man who possibly murdered her baby brother, she has one thing to say.

"If he has a conscience, he needs to turn himself in," she said. "He really does. If he has a mother that he loves he needs to turn himself in."

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If anyone sees Leday, police say do not approach him, just call 911.

Patrick Balbastro's family have set a date for his funeral, but are asking the community to help cover the expenses. You can donate by going into any Wells Fargo, and saying Patrick Balbastro's name, or go to this website to donate online.

Rikki Mitchell

Rikki Mitchell

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Rikki Mitchell is a proud University of Arizona grad and joined the KGUN9 team after graduation. Rikki reports as a video journalist for the evening and weekend newscasts.