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Crash Victims Identified

Crash Victims Identified

By Rebekah Rae. CREATED Jan 22, 2013

Fremont, NE-- Four men killed in a crash Friday morning came to Omaha to find work, according to the Douglas County Sheriff. 

It took four days to identify the men. Deputies say they did not have identification and were using false names.

Action 3 News contacted Nebraska Beef to ask why the men were hired without legal identification. The company did not return our calls.  
 
The men lived in Fremont and attended The Ministerio Yo Soy La Puerta church.   "It just feels like a piece of your heart just left," said Guadalupe Vicente, a church member who let the men borrow her car to drive to work.
 
Church music director Mario Alvarez Simaj was a passenger in the car;  the others have been identified as Manuel Leon Lopez, Gabriel Ralios Juarez and Pedro Soc Ortiz. 
 
Vicente says the men were living in Fremont to make make a better life for their families in Guatemala.  She knew the men lived in Nebraska illegally, but planned on returning home one day,  "Guatemala is a pretty poor country so most of them come here to try to help make their lives better. Our thing now is just coming up with the money to send them back home so they can be laid to rest with their family." 
 
It will cost $30,000 to return the bodies to Guatemala. A fund has been set up at Pinnacle Bank.