Remembering murder victim 14-year-old Israel Diego Pascual

Surveillance photo
Posted at 4:44 PM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-16 21:12:13-04

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Family and friends are remembering 14-year-old Israel Diego Pascual who was murdered while doing laundry with his family.

Horatio Rice is one of the most wanted men in the state now. He's considered armed and dangerous. They believe he could be with Tiffany Rice who is a person of interest. If you see them, call 911.

Horatio Lewis Rice
Horatio Lewis Rice and Tiffany Rice aka Tiffany Taylor

"It’s just very unfortunate," Nadia Spatz said, “Heartbroken.”

Police said the murder was a case of mistaken identity because no one in the family knew the suspect.

Nadia Spatz is a family friend. The victim's mom works at her farm. "She’s crying a lot,” Spatz said, “I think she is praying, it’s tough." Outside Duck River Laundry there's a memorial.

Memorial for Israel Diego Pascual
Memorial for Israel Diego Pascual in Shelbyville, Tennessee.

Just before Israel was murdered, he hugged his mom while they were doing laundry. "This is one thing she repeats over and over again, that he was a very loving boy. He was the baby boy in the family, he always hugged her," Spatz said, “He always said 'I love you momma.’"

They're trying to cling to the positive memories. Spatz said, "The one thing they said is that every time they would go to church, and he was a baby, and he heard 'Israel,' he was like ‘momma they’re talking about me!’"

To help financially during this time, Nadia started a Go Fund Me page for the family. "We are very grateful, the family is very grateful, very appreciative of every dollar," Spatz said.

Police said the murder was senseless. Spatz said, "There’s a lot of love out there, a lot of good people out there, and unfortunately it takes a tragedy to remind us that we’re not alone. We have each other. We have God, and we just need to support each other and share love, like Israel shared love with his mom."

Israel Diego Pascual and family
Murder victim Israel Diego Pascual and family

The family is scared to be alone at their home, so people have been dropping by and staying with them. A candlelight vigil is tentatively scheduled for Saturday evening in Shelbyville.