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Be Mindful: Native El Paso journalist writes book about teen suicide, focusing on a 14-year-old victim

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) - Josue Legarda was a seemingly happy young man. The 14-year-old was the life of the party and made everyone smile. Josue was the one to make sure everyone was doing well, cared about their concerns and assured all was well. He had plans to ultimately join the Marine Corps. He joined the Young Marines, an unaffiliated group in El Paso, to prepare for a military life. He excelled at all he did and showed leadership and made great friends. But one morning – while his mother was in the hospital for a difficult appendectomy - Josue’s body was found on an Interstate 10 frontage road not far from where he lived.

Josue's story is told by native El Pasoan Eraldo Chiecchi in his new book "Josue: A Young Man's Life Lost to Suicide." Chiecchi talked about his book Thursday on ABC-7 at 4.

"Teen suicides are an epidemic nationwide," Chiecchi said. "An average of 12 young people die daily and that's just way too many. What I figured is that number is just too nebulous, it's hard to put your arms around it. So I focused on one."

Chiecchi explained how the book came together. "In May of 2017 there was a report in one of (ABC-7's) newscasts that unfortunately a body was found on Interstate 10, an access road. But it had not been struck by a vehicle, it was not apparently a pedestrian. And because of my many years of police reporting, I sort of knew what it was. I knew it was a suicide. I just had a feeling that it was."

He went to police a few months later to get a copy of the report on the case and what he suspected was true. Chiecchi ultimately reached out to Josue's mother and told her he wanted to write a book about her son.

"She was so candid and honest with me, " Chiecchi recalled, "that the end product of that discussion and many other discussions with her and family members is reflected in this book."

"Josue: A Young Man's Life Lost to Suicide" is available now on and for the Kindle.

Article Topic Follows: Be Mindful
Teen suicide

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Mark Ross

Mark Ross is the anchor and producer for ABC-7 at 4.


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