‘It makes us feel like they forgot about it’: Murder victim’s family still searching for closure


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ The family of a man who was shot and killed in South Providence this summer tells 12 News they’re frustrated with the Providence Police Department, accusing them of not doing enough to track down the person who took their loved one’s life.

Kiovany Diaz, 21, was shot outside his home on Massachusetts Avenue back in August. He was rushed to the hospital by his aunt and brother, where he later succumbed to his injuries.

“It was really hard to actually see my brother laying down,” Joseph Diaz said. “You know, with his head down and not really saying anything. It’s traumatizing.”

Joseph Diaz, 23, tells 12 News Kiovany was outside celebrating his daughter’s 7th birthday when he was shot.

“He was an outstanding man,” Joseph Diaz said. “He was a good person, everybody here loved him, so it sucks for a person like that to be gone.”

In a statement to 12 News, Providence Police Maj. David Lapatin said they do have some leads and are still actively working the case.

He said they have kept in touch with Kiovany’s mother and his girlfriend, Kiraschlee Rodriguez.

“We can’t imagine how devastating it is to lose a child, father and loved one, but we have to make sure that our case is solid for everyone’s sake,” Lapatin said. “In order to do that, we have to be meticulous with our work and in some cases that takes time. When we go to court, we have to know that our case is solid and will result in a conviction. That’s the most important factor.”

But Rodriguez, who’s also the mother of Kiovany’s daughter, said she hasn’t heard from detectives in weeks.

“It’s already hard enough to sleep knowing that he’s gone, but also that his killers are just out here living life freely,” Rodriguez said. “It’s been two months, and they haven’t said anything…they don’t do any of that, so it makes it harder on us and it makes us feel like they forgot about it.”

“When we’re in communication with them, it’s because we reached out to them,” she added.

Lapatin had previously told 12 News there was an “outside chance” the incident was gang-related, but Kiovany’s family doesn’t think so.

“Anyone who knew Kiovany knew he was not a person of the streets at all,” Rodriguez said.

Police records show that, as of Oct. 4, there have been 13 homicides in Providence this year.

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