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State, federal authorities join search for accused killer in Reading

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 30 2013 04:32:21 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 30 2013 05:15:01 PM CDT

State, federal authorities join in search for Jose Espinoza-Diaz

READING, Pa. -

Reading Police are expanding their search to find the man accused of slashing a boy's throat in the city.

State and federal authorities are now involved in the hunt for Jose Espinoza-Diaz, said investigators.

Espinoza-Diaz was named the main suspect last week. On July 19, he allegedly sliced Wilberto Rojas' throat, and ran off, said police.

A portrait of Rojas, 15, sits in his grandmother's living room surrounded by flowers, candles and rosary beads. It's the only thing she has left to remember her baby boy.

"Nobody can understand how I'm feeling. It's terrible, just terrible," said Rojas' grandmother, who did not want to release her name.

Her heart is broken, and her family has been ripped apart. She said she fears her grandson's alleged killer will hurt another member of her family, and the hardest part is not knowing why he was killed.

She's demanding answers and pleading for Espinoza-Diaz to turn himself in.

"I want to see him face-to-face to ask what is there to be for you to do that," she said.

According to investigators, Rojas was walking with friends to the park when his throat was sliced at Church and Douglass streets.

Candles were flickering on the corner Tuesday. A memorial is still growing, but some neighbors are left living in fear.

"I'm even scared to come home at night, it's really terrifying to know there's a killer on the loose and you don't know when your life may be snatched, it doesn't matter what age you are," said Sodiann Thomas, who lives a few houses down from the homicide.

Police did not release details surrounding a motive, but they said this does not appear to be a random attack.

Espinoza-Diaz may have fled the area, said investigators.

If you know anything about the whereabouts of Espinoza-Diaz, call Crime Alert: Berks County at 877-373-9913.