Anaheim Police called a press conference this afternoon outside the Brookhurst Community Center near the site where 9-year-old Ximena Meza was murdered Wednesday night. Chief Raul Quezada released the photos of two men, Ricardo Cruz, 19, and Alfredo Miguel Aquino, 20, arrested Friday night in connection with the crime, but little else.
The sight of their mug shots brought grief, not relief, to extended family members.
"It doesn't really bring peace but at the same time I wanted to look at the eyes of the people that killed my girl," said Ximena's aunt. "How can they do that?"
William Meza and Ivania Ortiz didn't speak, but were present at the press conference. The memorial at 2308 West Greenacre Avenue continues to grow with flowers, votive candles and handwritten messages left on the grass near the sidewalk were she was gunned down. A balloon with an image of Elsa from the Disney film Frozen sticks out of a vase.
Before the press conference, family members held another car wash at the parking lot of Servite High School in Anaheim. They reminisced about the young girl. Ximena was a Salvadoran-American and the eldest of three sisters. She started 5th grade at Juliette Low Elementary where she excelled in her studies.
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"She loved to act as well," says relative Jose Estrada-Meza. "The day that the shooting happened she came back from a rehearsal." The tragedy has taken a heavy toll on the whole family, he says, especially with her parents.
"One of my favorite memories of Ximena was celebrating her 2nd birthday in El Salvador," says her uncle, Francisco Ortiz. His niece visited family on vacation back then. "We're grateful that we have a good community here in Anaheim. We are pleased with all the help that we've gotten."
Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @gsanroman2