Lawrence headstones vandalized, including that of teen killed in the Merrimack Valley explosions

Lawrence headstones vandalized; including teen killed in the Merrimack Valley explosions

LAWRENCE, Mass. — For one local mother, she says, after losing her son, she lost a part of her. And now, she says she can’t even visit her son at the grave because someone keeps vandalizing his grave.

“He was very into cars. When he was little, he had hot wheels in his hand,” said Michellee Geronimo as she stood by her son’s grave.

Michellee Geronimo lost her son Nike Colon on May 17, 2018, in a drive-by shooting. He was just 20 years old. It happened near Freeman and Washington streets in Haverhill.

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“He was in a truck with a friend, and someone drove by and shot him in the head,” said Geronimo. Days later, the suspect was arrested in Virginia.

Losing her son is still so fresh for this mother. She visits her son’s grave that once sat at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Lawrence. But the grave now sits in her backyard in Haverhill, after she says, vandals have been targeting it.

“It’s been vandalized, this is the third time. They have destroyed it. His picture was the last thing they banged out. In the back, there are chunks missing from it, and tilted it,” said Geronimo.

Leonel Rondon’s grave was also vandalized. The 18-year-old was killed on Sept. 13, 2018, during the Merrimack Valley gas explosions.

She got so sick of feeling like she had to bury her son over and over again.

“It’s hard right now, we are not at peace,” said Geronimo.

Geronimo says, her son wasn’t the only one whose gravesite was vandalized. “This is Liza’s. She also gets disturbed. I could sit here for hours, and drink coffee with him in the mornings. We can’t do it anymore. We barely come,” said Geronimo.

Mom says, the day after her son died, the U.S. Army called her because he wanted to join.

Police tell us they will be patrolling the area more. But for mom, she wants officials from the cemetery to put up lights here, because it is pitch dark.

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