Police search for suspect in road rage killing

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by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE NEWS and photojournalist DAVID GARDENER

Bio | Email | Follow: @ShannonM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on January 31, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 31 at 7:41 PM

AUSTIN -- Family and friends set flowers at the corner of Loyola Lane and Millrace Drive in East Austin Thursday in memory of a teenager killed in 2012.

The memorial was for 17-year-old Efren Gonzales Jr. who was killed in October 2012, after an argument in the Club Escapade parking lot turned into road rage.

More than three months later the murder is still unsolved.

"We are going to find the guy that killed my son," said Efren's father, Efren Gonzales Sr., as he held back tears.

The incident happened around 2 a.m. on October 21st. Police said what started as an argument in the parking lot of a nearby club, quickly escalated.

"The verbal disturbance turned into a kind of road rage incident," said Austin Police Sgt. Brian Miller.

Police said Efren was traveling westbound on Loyola Lane when the person he had argued with rammed the teen's car from behind causing the car to hit a pole in the median. Efren was thrown from the car.

Three months later, police are still looking for that driver.

"Sometimes you have a lot of luck, people coming forward giving us some good information," Miller said. "In this case, it really hasn't panned out."

"It was the worst thing you can imagine. He was like my son," said Efren's aunt Laura Rojas.

Rojas said the teen's parents were out of town and she was the first to get the news.

"The next thing was to tell the parents, my sister and my brother-in-law, what happened," Rojas said. "Nobody wanted to tell them because it was their life."

Rojas described Efren as happy, and always surrounded by friends and family. This year Efren would have graduated from high school.

"We are a really close family," she said. "Now that he's not here, it's like a part of us is missing."

That was why the family sent out a desperate plea for help Thursday. They said they can't even begin to move on until they know who is responsible for their son's death.

"This person, it could have been your son, it could have been your brother, your nephew, your friend," Rojas said.

Police said the man they are looking for is a light-skinned Hispanic male. The suspect was driving a large white or grey pickup truck, possibly a Ford Super Duty.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 472-TIPS. You could earn a reward of up to $1,000.

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