Family and friends of Blake Barry gathered at the corner of Dorsey and E Streets for a ceremonial tree planting, six months after his death. The Eastern Redbud was planted to celebrate his life.
The 20 year-old from Oakdale was killed on December 29, 2013 after attending a party in Waterford.
“I heard him say ‘Move, Tarissa,'” friend Tarissa Cardoso, said. She believe he saved her life. “And as he was saying that, he was pushing me in my back, and this was my stance. And the car clipped my wrist. And it spun me in a circle. I fell on my butt, but he flew and hit a parked car.”
Witnesses believed his death was the result of a local gang initiation hit and run. Police say the killer fled the scene in a dark, late model Nissan Altima. Six months later, no arrests have been made.
“We cried a river, and and one day just kept leading to another, and it hurt the same,” grandfather George Olmos said about the last six months. “And weeks went by, and months went by, and now we’re saying we have to do something.”
Blake’s mother, Juanita Bovee organized the tree planting at the exact place where her son was struck and killed six months ago. She announced that through the “Justice for Blake Barry” Facebook page, she managed to raise $10,000. Money which will go toward a reward for any information that leads to an arrest.
“We know that somebody is out there, and we need them to come forward,” Bovee said.
Best friend Elijah Thompson recently got a wolf tattooed on his back in honor of Barry. “It was his favorite animal,” Thompson said. “A wolf to me symbolizes that Blake was a strong young man, an individual that can stand up to himself.
Those that came to the event hope the killer would have the same strength and courage Blake had, and admit his mistake.
“He’ll never be forgotten. He’s always with me, and I just want to hold him,” Bovee said.
For anonymous tips, contact the Stanislaus County Crime Stoppers at 1-866-60-CRIME