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Jul-31-2013 01:22printcomments

Candlelight Vigil Seeks Justice for Death of Aniya Zamora

The community gathered to support the investigation of this tragedy.

Aniya Zamora
Aniya Zamora was three years old.

(SALEM, Ore.) - About seventy-five people came together on the Marion County courthouse steps Tuesday night, seeking justice for a little girl whose life was cut short. The 3 ½ year old girl was found dead in her home on April 19, 2013.

The candlelight vigil for Aniya Zamora gave the group the chance to pray, and share their thoughts, giving comfort to the grieving and showing support for the quest to learn the truth. Posters and collages of photos of Aniya were surrounded by candles and flowers, a reverent display for such an occasion.

Family and friends put together the vigil in just a week, sharing the information on social networks and handing out flyers to passers by.

“We want justice for Aniya. We want justice for all children who suffer from abuse. No one should ever hurt a child, no child ever deserves to be hurt,” wept Aniya’s grandmother.

There was a moment of silence, and then those that knew Aniya stepped forward to share their thoughts and memories.

“She was a happy girl, with so much energy. If she was here, she’d be dancing and running all over this place,” said an aunt of Aniya’s.

“She had sparkling eyes, I see those same eyes in her Grandmother’s face,” said the prayer leader. Suddenly, the wind blew the posters loose and the candles flickered. “That’s the spirit!” the crowd laughed in agreement.

Colorful chalk drawings carpeted the sidewalk with hearts and flowers and “Justice for Aniya” written in large letters for all to see.

“She would have liked this,” a family member said, pointing to the chalk flowers.

Aniya’s grandmother thanked the crowd for coming to the vigil, and reminded them that the little girl who made them all smile so much deserves justice.

The mass of people blew out their candles and gathered together for one enormous group hug. It was an emotional outpouring of community support.

A main point of the gathering was to impress upon the authorities, specifically the Marion County Sheriff and Oregon State Police, that investigation of this tragic death as a possible homicide is necessary.

The death was first believed to be an accident, but certain facts make that unlikely. The little girl apparently was found unconscious, submerged under water in the family bath tub. Further investigation is said to have revealed Aniya may have died from blunt force trauma; that she had bruises and possible internal injuries.

The toddler’s mother was not home at the time of death; the mother’s boyfriend is a person of interest. Other witnesses or any one with information are encouraged to come forward.

Aniya was the granddaughter of popular boxing coach Chris Alvarado, who coaches for Maricopa County Sheriff Boxing. Boxing fans helped with funeral expenses by contributing to a memorial fund in her name.

What will happen in regard to this case remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, Aniya has not been forgotten.

If you have any information in regard to the Aniya Zamora case, please contact Detective David Wilkenson, Marion County Sheriff Office, at (503) 588-5094.

(Note: You may still help the family by making a contribution at any Wells Fargo Bank, Account# 8143267329/Aniya Zamora Memorial Fund.)


Bonnie King has been Publisher of Salem-News.com since August '04. She is a photographer and video producer, writer, editor and mother, which she considers her greatest position. Bonnie has served in a number of positions in the broadcast industry; TV Production Manager at KVWB (Las Vegas WB) and Producer/Director for the TV series "Hot Wheels in Las Vegas", posts as TV Promotion Director for KYMA (NBC), and KFBT (Ind.), Asst. Marketing Director (SUPERSHOPPER MAGAZINE), Director/Co-Host (Coast Entertainment Show), Radio Promotion Director (KBCH/KCRF), and Newspapers In Education/Circulation Sales Manager (STATESMAN JOURNAL NEWSPAPER).

Bonnie has a depth of understanding that reaches further than just behind the scenes, and that thoroughness is demonstrated in the perseverance to correctly present each story with the wit and wisdom necessary to compel and captivate viewers and readers alike. An lifetime activist for just causes, she continues to strive to present facts that support Truth, Justice and Peace, as we are in the world to change the world for the better. "TJP"

View articles written by Bonnie King


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ella coursen October 20, 2013 11:52 pm (Pacific time)

JUSTICE FOR ANIYA!!! please!! This baby was murdered, someone needs to pay!!! keep her story alive! God Bless you!!

justicia July 31, 2013 10:51 am (Pacific time)

Salem news is the real news. Ty u all.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.