Unique headstone for murdered teen vandalized, again

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Memorial to a teen boxer is vandalized, again. (3 July 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS 5] Memorial to a teen boxer is vandalized, again. (3 July 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS 5]

There is a headstone in a Valley cemetery that reflects the passion of the young man buried beneath it.

The rectangle marble monument has four pillars, oneon each corner, with shoe laces tied in such a way that mimics a boxing ring. On the two sides are flower holders in the likeness of boxing gloves. And in the center of the simulated boxing ring, a statue of a young boxer in all his glory.

Alexis Urbina-Ochoa, 17, was a rising star in the amateur boxing world. He won the title of 2013 USA Youth Boxing National Champion the spring 2013. It was Urbina-Ochoa’s dream to box in the Olympics.

In the fall of that same year, Urbina-Ochoa was murdered in his south Phoenix home during a robbery. He was severely beaten. Two men were convicted of his murder.

[RELATED STORY: Man sentenced in Phoenix boxer's death]

“My family and I designed this monument so that it was fit for a champion because he was a champion,” said his sister Sulema Urbina.

But the monument has also brought heartache to the Urbina family. In May 2016 and again last Saturday, someone vandalized the monument, knocking down and breaking the statue figure of the young boxer in the center of the ring.

“It's very painful to see this. I just can't understand why they keep doing this. I do believe it's the same person because if they got away with it once, then they think they can get away with it a second time,” said Urbina.

The family believes the grave stone is targeted and has been damaged on purpose. When first damaged a little more than a year ago, the family had the statue fixed and re-erected. This time, they are not sure if they will put the statue back up.

“It's something that we're rethinking about putting it up because I don't want to see my mother cry again because it's been broken off again because no resting place deserves this. How can you not respect something so sacred?

Urbina reported both vandalizations to police. And the family does want whoever is responsible to be held accountable.

“It breaks my heart. It hurts my family so much and there's no words that could explain how much anger I feel. My brother's gone. Nothing is going to ever bring him back. He's resting he doesn't feel anything. The ones that hurt are the ones that are here, my mother, my father, my family,” said Urbina.

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