CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Charlotte's first murder still unsolved and on Sunday, family and friends holding a vigil for Natanael Rodriguez on what would have been his 23rd birthday.
"I’m supposed to be strong. Very strong because instead of celebrating like we usually do with family on his birthday, we have to be somber about what today means," Rodriguez aunt Damaris Valdez said.
Rodriguez was killed on January 2nd, just after midnight, in his third floor apartment at The Meridian place off Independence Boulevard.
"It's sad that this happened. When I found out, I lost it," friend of Rodriguez Nick Santiago said.
The family instead of lighting birthday candles to sing happy birthday, they light candles to memorialize what he meant to them.
"He would always a smile on his face. He was such an upbeat person," Santiago said.
"He was always there for everybody," Valdez said.
The family looking for answers to the question: Why someone would take his life?
"This is really painful and it runs really deep for us because you can't find comfort knowing that someone took someone's life and has basically gotten away with it," Valdez said.
"I hope that one day you realize that you took such a beautiful soul from everyone and from a beautiful family and I hope you get what's coming to you really," Santiago said.
CMPD is still investigating the case and ask the public to come forward with any information, no matter how insignificant, it could just break the case.
For now, the family continues to live with the hope that someone will come forward
"Violence is not the answer to take someone's life like that, at all," Santiago said.