Sioux City teen perseveres despite his mother's murder
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
It may have happened eight years ago, but the murder of a Sioux City mother still sticks in the mind of her now 18-year-old son. Eraldo Calderon has overcome a lot of obstacles since then, but none of these barriers stopped Calderon from finding success.
"I practically never had a childhood," Calderon said.
Calderon had to grow up much more quickly than he could have ever imagined.
"When I was around 5-years old, my father was locked up in prison for narcotics," Calderon said.
He said his dad was recently deported to Guatemala.
"He still does call us, but I really don't communicate with him. He was gone for most of my life," Calderon said.
But, that's just the first obstacle Calderon had to overcome.
"When I was 9-years old, my mother was murdered," Calderon said.
Calderon said he remembers the last time he saw his mother alive.
"I cried that time because I didn't want her to leave. I was a mama's boy," Calderon said.
It was early September 2005. Eraldo said he was staying at his aunt's house while his mom went out that night back. But, when she didn't come to pick him up the next morning, the family knew something was wrong.
"She's usually early, regardless of what she was doing, she's that type of mother: Mama bear," Calderon said.
Eraldo, and his relatives, went back to their house at 1412 West 15th Street in Sioux City to check on things. That's where they found her body.
"I had gone and looked down the basement door, and there she was, laying on the floor with a pool of blood and left the home phone right next to her," Calderon said.
He said the image of what he saw in this basement will always be with him.
"She was a good person. She would always be the first one up and be the one cooking for us when we wake up," Calderon said.
Despite the hardships, Calderon refused to give up. Tuesday night, he proved that by walking across this stage at his high school graduation.
"When the whole world's coming down on you, telling you, 'you're never going to be anything in life, you're going to end up like your father, you're no good, you're a little brat' I took it like I'm not gonna be like that. I'm gonna prove them wrong," Calderon said.
Eraldo is most proud of where his future is headed. He's already graduated from basic training for the National Guard, and he will be headed to Georgia in early June.
When I asked Eraldo about his mother's murderer, Marin Landaverde, he said he had to learn to forgive because in his words, it's not worth spending his whole life angry.
Landaverde is being held in Anamosa State Penitentiary, which is 20 miles from Cedar Rapids.
He's serving a 50-year prison sentence, and must serve 70% of that before he's eligible for any type of release. That's October, 9 2040.
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