BEAUMONT, Calif. - A gentle trickle of water now flows in remembrance of three people lost to the city of Beaumont. More than 100 people gathered outside the Beaumont police station on Monday, the 20th anniversary of the kidnapping of 10-year-old Anthony Martinez, who was taken by knife point in front of his friends and his brother, to his death.
A memorial fountain has been installed in front of the police station to remember Martinez and the officers who worked his case.
"I still remember seeing that man drive away with my brother, but I also remember Lt. John Acosta and Lt. Mitch White and the care and dedication that they had for my family," said Marcos Medina, who was fighting back tears.
The fountain honors the memory of Martinez as well as Lt. Acosta and Lt. White, both of whom retired from the force, and then later both died of cancer.
"The whole time that he worked here, the community was always very supportive, and in his passing at that time too, so it is nice that even later on that they still are coming together," said Sheryl Acosta, Lt. Acosta's widow.
"I know him (White) hearing the suspect had been caught before his retirement was a huge relief to him, and it made him feel good and he could look forward to retirement," said Craig White, Lt. White's brother.
Officers who worked with on the Martinez case say some wounds never really heal.
"We are still thriving and still healing. I don’t think you ever get over something like this, and now we will have a reminder outside of the police department," said Cmdr. Greg Fagan with the Beaumont Police Department. Fagan joined the department in 1996 and also searched for Martinez.
Martinez's remains eternally grateful to the people of Beaumont and what they did to help find their boy.
"Just being able to be blessed and have people that care about your son and care about you and what you are going through makes a huge difference in being able to go on," said Diana Reed, Martinez's mother.
Fourteen years after Martinez's death, convicted serial killer Joseph Edward Duncan III, confessed and pleaded guilty to the kidnapping, rape and murder.
The Riverside County District Attorney's Office will be holding a candlelight vigil for Martinez at Civic Center Park on Tuesday at 6 p.m.