DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - “I don’t sleep at night. We don’t go places. We don’t do anything. There’s no joy,” said Judy Zieto. That’s how she describes the past 12 years after she said one incident changed everything.
“Why didn’t I hug him? Why didn’t I tell him that I loved him?” asked Zieto. “I didn’t know that was going to be the last time I would see my child.”
On Nov. 18, 2006, Blake Zieto, 20, was on his motorcycle headed to meet a friend. He was driving down Highway 16 in Denham Springs near Eastover Boulevard when a truck coming from the opposite direction hit him. A man named Jesus Maltos Chacon was driving the truck. Zieto’s motorcycle ended up trapped underneath the truck. Then, the truck went up in flames.
“That’s when Jesus jumped out of the truck and fled the scene, leaving my baby underneath the truck. Blake died on the way to the hospital,” said Zieto.
Chacon was never arrested for Zieto’s death. The United State Marshals Service says Chacon is not a resident of the United States. He’s a Mexican citizen. The marshals office put out a wanted flyer years ago, saying Chacon was wanted by Louisiana State Police for vehicular homicide. The Marshals Service added they have been getting tips and searching for Chacon for years in Louisiana, Texas, and even as far north as Minnesota, but he’s believed to have fled to his home country. Chacon was arrested at least twice before in the United States, including for a DWI in Texas and in East Baton Rouge Parish for operating a vehicle without lawful presence in the U.S. and failure to yield.
While the case has gone cold in the past 12 years, the Zietos have kept Blake’s memory alive. Judy Zieto’s 5-year-old grandson is named after Blake.
"We call him little Blake. He's named after his Uncle Blake," said Zieto.
Blake’s mother has dedicated her life to finding Chacon. After all, she says she made a promise to her son while holding his hand. The rest of his body was so badly burned, they had to have a closed casket.
"I want him extradited back to the U.S. I want him to serve the time for the crime he did. I want justice for my child," said Zieto.
Blake would now be 32-years-old. The mother says she’s forgiven Chacon, but cannot forget what he did. It’s why she asks the public to take one more good look at Chacon, hoping someone can help her get that phone call she’s been waiting on for 12 years, the call that Chacon is in custody for her son’s murder.
“Our hearts are broken. They can’t mend. There’s nothing that can mend a heart from losing a child,” said Zieto.
Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $5,000 for any information that leads to Chacon’s arrest. Callers can remain anonymous. The phone number is 225-344-7867.