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Santa Cruz County

Five years after her death, family of Maddy Middleton honors her life

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SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION)--July 27th marks a heartbreaking day for the family of Madyson "Maddy" Middleton, who was murdered in Santa Cruz.

In 2015, 8-year-old Maddy Middleton was lured into an apartment and later found dead. Her accused killer, Adrian Gonzalez, was 15 years old at the time. He is currently awaiting trial.

Today, instead of focusing on the drawn-out legal process, her family is sharing memories of her life.

In a Facebook post, Maddy's grandmother writes, "July 26, 2015, our granddaughter, Madyson Middleton went missing. This is a call our son never wanted to make and we never wanted to receive. You’re thinking, no she forgot about the time and she’s at her friend’s house. But she’s nowhere to be found. Your heart is sinking, terrible thoughts are going through your mind and you brush them aside and say, they will find her. The community came together and were out late that night looking for Maddy. July 27, 2015, and yes, late the next day they did find her, but it was too late. A parent’s worst nightmare. You now find your heart has stopped, time has stopped, where do you go from here? Life does not get any worse than this. Life is not fair. Madyson Middleton was abducted by her 15-year old neighbor, who dumped her little mangled body in a recycling bin in the garage of her apartment. He is in jail still awaiting to be sentenced. So, every year, we wait to hear when he is going to trial. The only solace we have is, he can’t hurt another child.Our family is still broken inside, we will never be the same. Yes, we go on, but Maddy won’t and yes, we think about her every day. We will never be able to talk to her, play with her, see her graduate, have a boyfriend, get married, have children of her own or even grow old. So, when people say it will get easier, time heals, they don’t realize it’s only a band-aid, it’s still there, it doesn’t go away, and we still feels like our heart has been ripped out. We still cry, still dream about her, think about her and never want to forget her. Maddy will be remembered to her brother and her cousins and told about how unique she was. A friend to young and old. She was way beyond her years. I hear stories from many people who got to know Maddy and describe her willing to help, a leader and very friendly.Parents, family members, aunts, uncles, friends, watch your children, question where they’re going, make them tell you if their plans change and relay Madyson’s story to them. You don’t ever want to go through this hell.We will always love and miss you Maddy. Please take time to honor our Baby Girl, Maddy and enjoy the video of her 8 years. Join Maddy Angel on Facebook, a non-profit to help educate families on Child Safety. 'Before You Go, Let Someone Know'"

Crime / Santa Cruz / Top Stories

Mary Coleman

Mary Coleman is a morning anchor and managing editor at KION News Channel 5/46.

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