APD says man whose body was found near the airport was murdered, family wants justice

An autopsy reveals that a man’s body found near the Austin airport last week was murdered. Now, the Austin Police Department and the family want the person who killed 33-year-old Felipe Leija brought to justice.

Officers responded to a welfare check call on July 21st in a remote area on Fallwell Lane. When they arrived they said they found Leija's body with obvious trauma. Leija's death has now been ruled a homicide and detectives are looking for clues as to who murdered him.

Lejia’s 9-year-old son, Luis spoke to FOX 7. Brave at his young age, he said he wanted to talk about his dad. “I don't know any enemies that he had, and everybody liked him, so it's really shocking to us that it happened to him,” he said.

APD has not said yet how Leija was killed, or if his body was taken to the location and left on the side of the road. Jennifer Cardona is Leija’s sister. “I can't think of anybody that would just leave another human being like that. He didn't deserve that, he didn't deserve that, and it's just hard,” she said.                 

Cardona said he went to work that morning, and that was the last time they knew of his whereabouts. “It’s just hard to believe because nobody ever thought that it would be him. We don’t know what happened, we don’t know what's going on, we just need closure, we just don't understand anything right now, we don’t know anything,” she said.

Lt. Justin Newsom with APD said they don't have a lot of answers. "It's completely unsolved at the moment. We have some associates that we are trying to track down to talk to. We know some of the people that he was around recent, recent to his death and so we are trying to find those people and talk to them but we have no suspects identified," he said.

Cardona said she won’t rest until her brother has justice. “He may not be here today, but we are his voice, and we will make sure that justice will be served to the fullest extent because he did not deserve any of this.

For Willis, he said he’s going to keep pictures of his dad near his bed, so he can still talk to him. “I prayed to him that we will put you to rest and you'll be at peace and in heaven and nobody can hurt you there,” he said.

Lt. Newsom said based on the circumstances around the case, it’s obvious to them this was an isolated incident and they don’t believe there’s any reason for the public to fear for their safety.

He said if anyone has any information to call APD, no matter how small or trivial the information may be, it could help lead them to the killer.

The family has set up a GoFund me account to help pay for funeral expenses, if you would like to help, you can click here.

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