The family of murder victim Fito Celedón visited Berkeley to seek information. While they were here they planted flowering plants in his memory at a commemorative garden near where he was killed on Adeline at Emerson. From left to right: Amber Nelson, fiancée of Fito; his sister Constanza, father Adolfo and sister Alejandra. Photo: Tracey Taylor

On a rainy Monday evening the family of Adolfo Ignacio Celedón Bravo, who was brutally gunned down just over a year ago on Sept. 12, 2010, gathered to plant flowering vines and lavender in his memory in a commemorative garden created by his fiancée near the spot where he fell on Adeline Street.

The murder of Fito, as he was known to his friends, has not been solved, and his family is hoping their presence here and the many meetings they have held with officials and the media will prompt someone in the community to come forward with information leading to the arrest of his killers.

The 35-year-old Fito and his fiancée Amber Nelson were walking home from a party in the early hours of the morning when they were ambushed and robbed by two assailants near Ashby BART. Fito was shot while trying to protect Nelson. The randomness of the killing shocked the Berkeley community.

Nelson said the hope was that somebody with information would show compassion and help track down the murderers.

“We understand there is sometimes a reluctance to speak to the police, but if they have heard something on the grapevine they can call in anonymously. Any information is helpful,” she said, adding: “We are real people who loved Fito very much.”

It was the second trip to Berkeley for Adolfo Celedón Sandoval. The first was to collect the body of his son. Fito’s mother, María de la Luz Bravo, was making her first visit. One of the new plants in the commemorative garden is lavender, an echo of the lavender in the family garden in Chile. The other is a hot pink Mandevilla flowering trumpet vine.

Alejandra Celedón, one of Fito’s two sisters, said the family had been busy for the past five days, meeting with the police and the Chilean Consul General in San Francisco, Rolando Ortega Klose, among others.

“We also wanted to go to the places Fito went to in his regular life,” she said. “Berkeley was a city he really loved.”

The reward for information leading to an arrest in the case was recently increased from $17,000 to $20,000, thanks to help from the Chilean department of foreign affairs. Anyone with any information, however small, can phone the Berkeley Police Homicide Detail at 510-981-5741 or the 24-hour non-emergency line at 510-981-5900. Anonymous calls can be made to Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Reward grows for information about killer of Chilean man [07.13.11]
Block party planned on anniversary of Berkeley homicide [03.11.11]
South Berkeley community gathers in wake of murder [09.30.10]
Police chief hopeful of solving Berkeley murder case [09.30.10]
In Berkeley slaying, victim defended fiancée [09.20.10]
Berkeley slaying victim was planning to marry [09.13.10] 

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...