Friends, family remember Jose Aguilar, tragic events in Elkhart
Posted: 08/23/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Sharon Hernandez
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A mourner places a candle during the vigil at 1108 Grant Street in memory of the Aguilar family. Approximately 200 people gathered to remember and mourn the three members of the family killed in a house fire Monday morning. ¬ (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) ¬ ¬ ¬
Adolpho Aguilar, age 7Victim of a house fire at 1108 Grant Street 8/23/2011Beardsley second grader
Ricardo Aguilar age 13Victim of a house fire at 1108 Grant Street 8/23/2011Eighth grader at Northside Middle School
A member of the Elkhart police force hugs Maria Aguilar after receiving communion during the funeral service for Jose, Ricardo and Adolfo Aguilar on Tuesday evening at St. Vincent de Paul Church. ¬ (Truth Photo By Delayna Earley)
Two mourners place candles during the vigil at 1108 Grant Street in memory of the Aguilar family. Approximately 200 people gathered to remember and mourn the three members of the family killed in a house fire Monday morning. ¬ (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) ¬ ¬ ¬
The caskets containing the remains of Jose Aguilar and his two sons, Ricardo and Adolfo, sit at the front of St. Vincent de Paul Church during their funeral service on Tuesday evening. The church was filled with members of the community paying their respects to the deceased. ¬ (Truth Photo By Delayna Earley)
Katlin Dolomon (left), Julie Morales (middle) and Francis Medvil take part in the candle light vigil at 1108 Grant Street 8/23/2011. The three were part of a crowd of approximately 200 people who gathered to remember and mourn the three members of the Aguilar family killed in a house fire Monday morning. ¬ (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) ¬ ¬ ¬
The Aguilar family on Saturday celebrated the baptism of two of their children, Adolfo and Samantha, at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Elkhart. From left, Jose Aguilar (standing in rear) his wife Maria Aguilar, the coupleís daughter Samantha, 8 months, pose in a photograph from the baptism. In front in white suit, is Adolfo Aguilar, age 7. Jose Aguilar and Adolfo Aguilar died in the fire early Monday. Photo supplied.
Jose Aguilar ¬ Obituary ¬ 8/26/11 ¬ (Photo Supplied)
“It’s definitely been hard for them, learning how to grow up without a father or raising two daughters, when you’re used to having that one person there,” said Anjelica Chavarria, a close friend of the Aguilars, “they are working it day by day.”
On Aug. 22, 2011, Antonio Aguilar and his two sons, Ricardo Aguilar, 13 and Adolfo Aguilar, 6, died when a man threw a lit propane tank through a window of the home, located on 1108 Grant St. According to neighbors, the house was completely ablaze in seconds.
The man accused of throwing the propane tank, Francisco Macias, is also accused of stabbing two women. According to reports from the Elkhart Police Department, Macias had stabbed Maria Miranda at her residence at 1822 Mediterranean Ave. around 1:45 a.m.
After causing the fire on Grant Street, he drove around 3:14 a.m. to Maria Aceituno Sanchez’s residence, at 1113 Whitfield Court, where he stabbed her.
Around 4:50 a.m., after leading police on a slow-speed car chase, he took his life by igniting his own car.
Sgt. Steve Price, with the Elkhart Police Department’s homicide unit, said the case is now closed, after police reached the conclusion that Macias knew someone from the family and they “firmly believed” the two stabbings and the fire were caused by the same person.
“We have good reason, through the information that we have, to believe that’s what occurred, but we were never able to ultimately corroborate that,” Price said.
Maria Aguilar and her two daughters will continue living in Elkhart. Miranda and Aceituno Sanchez have both moved since the incident.
Keeping the good memories
About 50 people gathered at St. Vincent de Paul around 6:30 p.m. for a celebration in honor of Jose Aguilar and his sons, as well as his wife and daughters. After the celebration, many drove to 1108 Grant st. to leave flowers, candles and prayers.
“We just want to keep the good memories alive and not worry about the bad things,” said Chavarria.
Jose Aguilar and his sons were just overall hard workers, and were always involved in their community, “especially with the soccer team, he traveled with his sons and he knew a lot of people of the community from that aspect.
“He was a hard worker, the kids were involved in soccer and they were great students at school,” she said.
Maricruz Aguilar, who lives just a few blocks from the site of the crime, said the incident is not one to forget easily, nor were the family members they lost. Maricruz Aguilar was Jose Aguilar’s sister-in-law.
“We’ll always remember them,” she said. “We miss them every day, but we know now they are with God. We’ll always have them in our hearts, and we know Ricardo and Adolfo will forever be angels.”