Delano shooting victims remember families at funeral services
DELANO, Calif. (KGET) – A year after their unsolved murders, the families of Elayna Dorig and Makeliah Osorno remembered the two girls at their graves on Friday.
Elayna, 12, and Makeliah, 11, were shot dead at a birthday party in Delano on June 2 last year. No suspect has been named.
The girls, lifelong friends, are buried at opposite ends of North Kern Cemetery and have been commemorated in separate memorials. Makeliah’s grandmother, Lisa Osorno Lopez, said the deaths had torn the two families apart.
“I almost lost faith in God, I questioned him, and I’m not supposed to,” Lopez said. “But I have to wonder why God could have allowed two little girls to die? “
Makeliah has earned the nickname “Hot Mess” for her energy and curiosity. Lopez said she loved to dance and dreamed big, telling her grandmother she wanted to be an FBI agent. She even named a Cabbage Patch doll “JJ”, after AJ Cook’s character in Criminal Minds.
“She had goals, she wasn’t running the streets, she was playing with dolls,” Lopez said. She said the family had only recently been approved for counseling, which she said is months behind schedule. She said it has been a tough year for her and Makeliah’s mother, and she feels “nobody cared” and that nobody would give out information that could solve the case.
“I think they got away with it,” Lopez said, “everyone’s scared.”
But she says she is “not angry with God” and she still prays for arrests to be made. For Elayna, Pastor David Vivas led a service where her family members prayed and shared memories of her. Vivas, who is also awaiting justice for an unsolved 2020 murder, called for peace and patience.
“Even if justice is served, it doesn’t heal a broken heart,” Vivas said, later adding “never feel alone… we are all going through this together.”
Elayna’s family attended Vivas Church, the World International Harvest Church. The 12-year-old also went to their Sunday school and Vivas said she would help the younger ones. At the end of the service, large purple balloons were dropped in his memory, led by his mother, Angiee Arroyo.
“My daughter was so innocent, she was the most beautiful girl you could have,” said Arroyo, “I was lucky to have those 12 years with her, but she didn’t deserve this and Makeliah no more.”
The only information released by police about the shooting was that a suspect dressed in a hoodie and mask drove to the party in a beige 4-door sedan, similar to a Toyota corolla or Camry. Investigators, community advocates and family members all believe there are people in Kern County who may know more about the shooting, or at the very least, may have seen something that could help.
There is a $ 3,000 reward for the information, which can be given anonymously after the arrest is made. Tips can be sent to Kern Secret Witness at (661) 322-4040.