Candlelight Vigils Honoring Crime Victims Scheduled this Week

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin will be the keynote speaker at each of two candlelight vigils this week to honor crime victims. These events are returning after not being held the past three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each candlelight vigil begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25, and Wednesday, April 26

On Tuesday, April 25, the vigil will be held at Palm Desert Civic Center Park, 43-900 San Pablo Ave., Palm Desert.

On Wednesday, April 26, the vigil will be held at Riverside County Historic Courthouse, 4050 Main St., Riverside.

Immediately following the Riverside vigil on Wednesday there will be a gathering at the nearby
District Attorney’s Office Victims Memorial Courtyard, 3960 Orange St., to unveil new names on the Victims Memorial Wall.

In 2009, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office unveiled a wall where the names of murder victims are engraved in polished granite. The wall is located in the Victims’ Memorial Courtyard outside the downtown Riverside office. There are more than 2,000 names engraved on the wall, dating back as far as could be found in county records.

Each year since 2004, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office pays tribute to those who
have lost their life to violent crime through candlelight vigils held in locations across the county. Hestrin will address those in attendance at each event that also features a keynote speaker. The names of victims who died as a result of violent crime will be read at each venue and candles will be lit to remember them.

The public is welcome to attend each of the vigils.

This year’s keynote speakers are:

In Palm Desert: Ten years ago, Mimi Pena, a local mother, experienced the tragic loss of her two-year-old daughter to homicide. Mimi will be talking about the challenges she encountered and overcame throughout the process of seeking justice. Mimi will share her advice for learning and finding support.

In Riverside: Julia and Lino Asencio lost their sons Elijah and Jeremiah in a drive-by shooting in Moreno Valley in March of 2018. Julia will share how she and Lino have navigated the challenges of the Juvenile Justice System and the relationships lost and gained following the death of their children.

Both vigils will be livestreamed on the DA’s Office Facebook page:

Image Sources

  • candlelight: Pexels (Hakan Eerenler)