His Life

Oscar's Obituary

Oscar Daniel Joaquin
January 7, 1998 - July 28, 2015

Our beloved Oscar Daniel Joaquin was violently taken from us by unknown assailants on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 in Santa Maria, CA. He was only 17 years old.

Oscar was born in Santa Maria on January 7, 1998. That day was a good day. Oscar quickly won his way into people’s hearts, and there was a particular joy for those privileged to watch him grow from a child to a young man.

Oscar filled a room with his magnetic energy, drawing people to him with his playful sense of humor, cool kid charm, and big heart. He was outgoing and articulate from a young age, with peers on the playground and adults in social settings. Even as a child, he loved music and could be the first one on the dance floor. Whenever he entered into a sport, he soared to the top, particularly boxing and soccer. In later years, his creative side showed the sensitivity and ingenuity of his artist’s soul as he wrote and performed his music. He was a brilliant storyteller with memory for detail, and he captured an audience with endearing enthusiasm and spellbinding amusement. Oscar deeply loved his family and his friends, and he demonstrated his care and concern with hugs, words, and sweet gifts of many kinds.

Oscar grew to be a thoughtful, intelligent young man, with many passions and great confidence. In every endeavor his achievements seemed effortless, but with a closer look, one could see his dedication, hard work, and exceptional talents. Oscar was handsome, tall, carried himself with pride, and his eyes contained the strength of life and love. To all who knew him, he was well-mannered, respectful, and kind, and he moved between worlds with curiosity and grace.

Oscar cherished his beloved Santa Maria community, where he was born and raised, and his daily presence will be terribly missed. Over the course of his young life, he cultivated community in a number of schools, sports teams, work, and church that he attended with his family. He was also a sophisticated traveler, and in his short 17 years, he visited Mexico, France, and cities across the United States, with much time spent in New York with his mother. He was bilingual, and family was very important to him.

Oscar is survived by his father Federico Joaquin, his step-mother Laura, and their three children Yarinze, Daniel, Nathaniel, who live in Santa Maria, CA; and his mother, Rebekah Spicuglia, and her partner, Dru Levasseur. Also surviving are Oscar’s paternal and maternal grandparents, and many uncles, aunts, cousins, and extended family in the United States (CA, NY, GA, CT) and Mexico.

Oscar Daniel Joaquin will always be in the hearts fortunate enough to have known him. Having lived with us for seventeen years, he is with us forever.

There will be a Rosary on Friday evening August 7, from 6:30-9:00 p.m. at St. Louis de Montfort, 1190 East Clark Road, Santa Maria, CA. Mass will take place on Saturday morning August 8, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Louis de Montfort Church. Interment will follow at Santa Maria Cemetery. A gathering for family and friends will then be held at the church.

A memorial service will be held in New York City on August 14.

Trial Pending...

On July 11, 2016 -- nearly a year after Oscar was killed -- a grand jury issued an indictment against 12 defendants (allegedly MS-13 gang members) for the murder of 10 people, conspiracy, attempted murder, and other charges ( They are all being held in Santa Barbara County Jail, without bail. Prosecutors intend to seek life in prison without possibility of parole rather than the death penalty.

The case is going through the court system, very slowly, with hearings held the third Friday of every month. Trial date is not set but likely mid-2019 to start, and could go through end of 2020. We just don't know. Although the waiting is hard, we know that it's important things are done well and not rushed, that defendants get due process and those who committed this violence will be held accountable.

This is an extremely complex case, perhaps the biggest CA has ever had in the number of defendants and victims. Senior Deputy District Attorney Ann Bramsen is the lead prosecutor on the case, and we are glad to have such an experienced attorney, and someone with great compassion who has been very communicative with us throughout. In addition to Bramsen, there are three other lawyers full time on the case and lots of support staff.

We are extremely appreciative of stellar reporting from Janene Scully, who has been covering the case from the very beginning at Noozhawk. Other local media is often sensationalizing, has very limited actual reporting, and sometimes reports on things they were not even present for. Janene Scully reports in such detail, it is almost as if we were there. This is her piece on when Oscar was first named in court, and defendants finally entered in pleas (not guilty) after the lengthy list of charges took 15 minutes to read aloud in court.

Love to all Oscar’s family and friends, and those of the other victims. Our hearts go out to all the victims' families, who have already suffered so much, and will be suffering even more in the long, long process of prosecuting their killers.
Michel Raygoza Hernandez (Jan. 8, 2013)
Modesto Melendez (May 16, 2015)
Oscar Joaquin (July 28, 2015)
Abrahan Rojas-Najera (Oct. 30, 2015)
Ulises Garcia-Mendez (Nov. 20, 2015)
Brayan Mejia Molina (Dec. 4, 2015)
Aaron Hernandez Sanchez (Jan. 12, 2016)
Javier Murillo-Sanchez (Jan. 12, 2016)
Donaciano (Alexis) Morales-Suarez (Jan. 25, 2016)
Augustin Jamie Montano-Barajas (Jan. 25, 2016)