Family, friends remember 18-year-old killed in Green Bay one year later

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Saturday, February 22, marks one year since 18-year-old Federico Abarca was shot and killed in Green Bay.

Jared Williquette, Colton Kehoe, Jarid Stevens and Gavin Rock were arrested after police say the four were planning to rob Abarca of his money and vape cartridges.

Gavin Rock set up a deal to buy vape cartridges from Abarca.

Officials say the suspects knew Jared Williquette had a gun with him.

After an argument ensued, Williquette shot Abarca in the chest.

A year later Abarca’s family is still grappling with the loss of their son, brother and friend.

“If I could have it back I would,” says Federico’s mother Concepcion Melgar. “I’d be his mom again in a heartbeat.”

Melgar says this past year has been a year of firsts.

Their first Christmas without the family-proclaimed goofball, the first birthday he wasn’t there to blow out his candles.

“I’d rather talk about him and remember him and even though I do cry, it’s still beautiful thinking and remembering everything that he left us with,” says Melgar.

everyone says the same thing.

“It was like he made it his personal mission everyday just to make you happy,” says Federico’s friend Savannah Steel. “You don’t really find those kind of people.”

The memories described, only the way a mother can, are the moments that we all take for granted.

“I miss having him around the house and him laughing at me because I’m short. Whenever I need something from the top cabinet and saying, ‘This is a job for tall people,'” says Melgar. “And cuddling. He’d always cuddle.”

At the time of Federico’s death a year ago the family was overwhelmed with support.

His friends don’t want that support to fizzle.

“I just didn’t want his story to be forgotten,” says Steel.

“I really hope that people think twice about what they do because it doesn’t only affect them, it affects the family around them,” says Melgar. “I just really hope he gets justice.”

Williquette, Kehoe, Stevens and Rock will appear in Brown county court April 20.

Each is being held on a $500,000 bond.

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