Dozens of people lined Thomaston Avenue in Waterbury Tuesday night to honor a 16-year-old girl who police said was shot and killed by the 27-year-old man she was dating.
Loved ones who attended the vigil left candles and balloons 16 year-old Evalyce Santiago, of Waterbury.
“I wish I could bring her back. I wish somehow she could come back because this is pain and we’re all suffering and we don’t need this,” Santiago’s aunt, Christy Rivera, said.
Santiago was found with gunshot wounds inside a car that crashed at Thomaston Avenue and Driggs Street Monday night.
Police said they believe 27-year-old Dominique Pittman, of Waterbury, shot Santiago three times before crashing the car the two were riding in.
Authorities said 27-year-old Pittman was in a dating relationship with Evalyce, who was a student at Wilby High School.
Family members said Pittman also fathered several children with one of Evalyce’s aunts.
The grandfather who raised Santiago as his own daughter said no one knew anything about the relationship.
“This is something they kept under us for as long as it was going on. We never realized it,” Francisco Rivera said. “Nobody knows nothing until something happens. That’s when we all realize the tragedy. It was under our noses and we didn’t see it, we didn’t smell it.”
Pittman has been charged with murder and several weapons violations connected to the teen’s death.
As Pittman awaits a court appearance, the family Evalyce left behind is trying to make sense of this senseless tragedy.
“We go on with life. He looks at four walls and figures out what he did wrong,” said Francisco Rivera.
“I just want her back and nothing’s going to bring her back now” said Christy Rivera.
Pittman is being held on $1 million bond and is due to be arraigned in court Wednesday morning.