Apr 13, 2014 12:47 AM by Sam Salzwedel
TUCSON - The mother of one of Tucson's first homicides in 2014 went to her first Homicide Survivors vigil.
Linda Balbastro lost her son, Patrick Balbastro, in the early hours of New Year's Day.
"It's a daily struggle for myself being a mother," Balbastro said. "Them calling him a hero and a good Samaritan, that's helped me a lot. And I'm very proud."
April 12 was the last day of National Crime Victims' Rights Week. The local nonprofit, Homicide Survivors, honored the occasion by hosting their annual vigil at Children's Memorial Park near River and Oracle Roads.
"Homicide Survivors, they're great. They're awesome. I don't know what I would do without them," Balbastro said. "The first time we had that meeting and they told us what we were going to go through. And boy, it was the truth."
Michael Leday, 28, is in the Pima County Jail charged with Patrick Balbastro's murder. Homicide Survivors has helped Linda Balbastro understand the legal process ahead.
"I'm not going to let [Leday] bother me," Balbastro said. "He doesn't intimidate me at all."
She said the support of other victims' families helps her heal.
"We're not alone," Balbastro said. "We have so many people that I feel that we are a family."