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Man whose sister was killed says her death is being used for political gain

WATCH Man whose sister was killed...

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - For the first time, we're hearing from a man whose sister was brutally murdered back in 1990 by an undocumented immigrant.

Robert Pina recently moved to Pueblo. He reached out to us because he says her death is being exploited for political gain and he wants to set the record straight.

The only thing Pina has to remember his sister Christy by is a pamphlet from the day of her funeral. 

"There's a butterfly on it because she loved butterflies," Pina says.

It was during the winter of 1990 when his 14-year-old sister was murdered. Stabbed 23 times, strangled and raped. Her naked body was found in an artichoke field in California.

Pina recalls, "I was three years old when this happened so, to be honest, I didn't quite understand at first. I only knew that my sister was gone."

The person who authorities say murdered her is Arsenio Pacheco Leyva, an undocumented immigrant who fled to Mexico shortly after the homicide and was extradited back to the states nearly 30 years later.

But since the extradition, Robert says his father Juan has been using her death to further a political agenda. 

"It was less and less about my sister and it became more and more about the little girl in the artichoke field killed by an illegal immigrant."

His father speaking at President Donald Trump's rallies and conferences promoting border security.

Robert says his dad is a good man but he disagrees saying the blame is not entirely on her accused murderer.

Pina says, "She was in the wrong place at the wrong time because she had run away from home, because she was being abused."

He says his sister was sexually abused by her step-father and felt like she had no one she could talk to. She even attempted to take her own life before running away.

"If my sister could have just felt like she could've trusted anyone to go to them about the truth. Maybe something would have changed," says Pina.

Wanting her death to be more than just a cautionary tale about illegal immigrants he says if more people had talked and listened to them as children then maybe her sister would still be alive.

"I would say what happened to her changed my life in a sense that I want justice for her but not just her killer, but the things that killed her."

We did reach out to Pina's father Juan and spoke with him over the phone. He tells us he stands by what he said at those rallies. That those who want to come to the United States have to do it legally as his family did.


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