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Jan 11, 2014 7:19 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Fundraisers held for 2 people killed on Jan. 1st

TUCSON - The families of two people who were intentionally run over and killed on New Year's Day are raising funds for funeral expenses.

Police say Michael Leday assaulted 47-year-old Cindy Burnett at a south side neighborhood on Jan. 1st. When Patrick Balbastro, 32, and his girlfriend stopped to help, investigators say Leday got into Balbastro's car and ran the three over.

Balbastro and Burnett died from their injuries. Leday has a felony warrant for his arrest and law enforcement is currently asking for the public's help in locating him. You are encouraged to call 9-1-1 or 88-CRIME but police ask that you do not approach Leday.

Balbastro's family held a car wash on the south side to try and curb the cost of giving him a proper goodbye.

"It's very ahrd for me right now," said Linda Balbastro, Patrick's mom. "I forced myself to come out here but I'm doing it for him you know - just for my son."

Across town, a mixed martial arts seminar was held to honor the legacy of Cindy Burnett, who has a strong background in training.

"She loved the martial arts. She loved to train. She trained with all the best coaches -- and because of that that's why we're all here together because she was one of those who did all that," said Joey Rivera, one of Burnett's coaches.

Cindy's son Chaz told News 4 Tucson that he is especially proud of the community that showed up to honor her fighting spirit.

"Always smiling... Always helping people out... She was a great woman. She wasn't just my mom -- she was my training partner and my best friend," Chaz Burnett said.


If you would like to help out with funeral expenses for the Balbastro family you can make donations at any Wells Fargo in the name of Patrick Balbastro.

Further donations through the MMA fundraiser for Cindy Burnett can be directed to this phone number: 520-882-8788


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