MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The sense of loss has not changed for Jeanette Pata. Seven years ago, she rushed to her son’s Kendall apartment to find out he had been shot to death in the parking lot. On the anniversary of Bryan Pata’s death, she feels the case has gone cold.
“I miss him so much,” she said. “Bryan was my baby boy. He always told me he loved me, and made me laugh. The family misses Bryan very much.”
Family members describe Pata, the youngest of nine children, as the life of the party, someone who always had a smile on his face and loved to make people laugh.
“He was a big kid,” said his brother-in-law Andrew Lynes. “Bryan loved to play games and have fun. He wanted everyone to be happy.”
Lynes said Pata’s life revolved around football, always getting tickets to games for family members and calling his mother before big away games to make sure she watched on TV.
On the night he was killed, Pata practiced at UM, had dinner with teammates and drove to his apartment on Southwest 77th Avenue just south of Kendall Drive. Police believe he got into a confrontation with someone in the parking lot and may have been shot when he turned around to walk back to his vehicle. No arrest has ever been made in the case.
Miami-Dade police said Pata’s murder remains an open and pending case. But family members feel the case has gone cold.
“We are seeking justice,” Jeanette Pata said. “My son is gone but the pain will never go away.”
Pata was just 22 years old.