Kyleigh Sousa's Brother: Life is Tainted after Tragedy - FOX 10 News |

Kyleigh Sousa's Brother: Life is Tainted after Tragedy


Every day, families are touched and forever changed by violence. Their stories don't garner a presidential visit, or even much thought by many people in the community.

But we were all stunned following the death of ASU coed Kyleigh Sousa last May. She was a promising 21-year-old pre-law student. One night, after a bite to eat at a Tempe IHOP, a man in a car tried to steal her purse.

He got the purse, but Kyleigh was dragged 30 feet.

She suffered a fractured skull and a severed artery, and died a few days later. For six months, her killer roamed free.

On December 7, police arrested 20-year-old Jose Luis Marquez. For the first time since the arrest, Kyleigh's brother is talking about the crime that shattered his family. What he said might help the many families facing similar grief following the carnage in Tucson.

We asked him if things got any easier, and Bernie Sousa told us, "No not at all. You try to live your life, but everything you do is tainted, because the person you cared about so much isn't here."

Seven months since losing his sister, Bernie and his family continue to struggle.

"You never think anything like this can happen to your family. You live in a bubble, go on with your daily routine, everything gets blown to hell."

Bernie says Kyleigh was beautiful and incredibly caring for others. As for the man who took her life?

"I honestly don't think I would want the death penalty for him. I don't think its worth it... death would be too easy for him… a big brother's response is just put me in a room with him for 3 minutes and call it even. I would love that opportunity more than anything, but no, it's never going to happen."

The Sousa family donated Kyleigh's organs, which in turn saved several people. Bernie, who lives out of state, has been keeping an eye on the tragedy in Tucson. He understands all too well the grief these families are going through.

His advice? "You have to take those parts of the people who are no longer here and incorporate them into your daily life and live more for them… I've learned that you should say what you want to say for the people you care about, that's the best piece of advice I could give anybody."

Press play to hear John Hook's entire 12-minute interview with Bernie.

The Kyleigh Sousa Foundation
P.O. Box 757
Brick, New Jersey 08723


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