DENVER, Colo. — Few words can describe the pain that the family of Jasmine Rivas Hernandez is living through.
“What were her last moments? Her last breath?" said Jasmine’s cousin, Diana Hernandez.
On Saturday afternoon, the Denver Police Department said it received a report of a woman found dead in an alley near the corner of E. Colfax Avenue and Quebec Street. DPD said it is investigating her death as a homicide. She was later identified as Jasmine, 17.
“She was just a young, beautiful lady trying to figure out her place in this world and she was just so young still. She was still figuring out what she wanted in life and it's just taken too soon. She was only 17 and it was just too soon,” Diana said.
Friends who gathered at the site where Jasmine was found said she was a loving sibling and had goals to continue school.
“She's been my friend since childhood, so I know her whole family. She was a good girl. I mean, I never heard of her getting in trouble or anything like that,” said two of Jasmine's friends.
Her grandmother, Ernestina Maltos, said she last spoke with Jasmine one week ago and now is heartbroken she’ll never be able to again.
“What she wanted to do was work, make her own money and get ahead,” Maltos said.
Robbed of a future, her family members want to see justice.
“I want this person who did this to pay for this. I want them to pay for the rest of their life for what they did. She didn't deserve this and, who knows, they did this already once, they could do it again and hurt somebody else,” Diana said.
No other details have been released on Jasmine's cause of death. Her family, left to pick up the pieces, must now pay for funeral expenses.
So far this year, Denver police said there have been three juvenile homicide victims. Detectives are actively investigating all cases.
Anyone with information is asked to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867. Tipsters can remain anonymous and can earn up to $2,000.