Stevie Jamon was like most 12-year-olds, according to his 26-year-old sister Nena Moreno. He liked to eat pizza, play Fortnite with friends, play board games with his mother and go on bike rides with his family.
Despite their age difference, they were close, she said. He had even joked that he was like an older brother because he was taller than her.
Their lucky number was 18, because Stevie was born on March 18 and Moreno was born on April 18.
“He was like a soldier,” Moreno said. Stevie had been hit by a car while riding his bike on Sept. 23 of last year, she said, and ended up in the ICU for about two and a half weeks. “He fought for his life then, and I believe that he fought for his life this time.”
The Swope Middle School student’s life was brutally cut short on Sept. 18, and his body was located with multiple stab wounds inside his family’s apartment on Berrum Lane.
Edward Rivas, 42, was arrested a couple days later and charged with open murder and arson in connection to Stevie’s death.
The family’s dog, a German Shepard named Naia, was also killed. The court case’s affidavit sheds some light on details leading up to Stevie’s death.
Rivas was a roommate at the Berrum Lane apartment where Stevie lived with his mother. He was homeless when Stevie’s mother met him over the summer, and she rented out a bedroom to him.
Rivas and she got into an argument about a week prior to Stevie’s death — during which he reportedly armed himself with a knife — and she had kicked him out of the apartment, according to court documents. She allowed him to return a few days later.
After returning home from work on the evening of Sept. 18, Stevie’s mother noticed that it was “unusually hot” inside the apartment, and she smelled fumes as well as saw a black and burned carpet, according to the affidavit. She found her son’s body in his room, ran outside and hysterically called for help. A neighbor called 911.
That same evening, Rivas was seen on security camera footage leaving the property on a black BMX bike and not returning.
Rivas was arrested on Sept. 20 and is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 28.
Stevie’s mother was unavailable for comment this week. Several neighbors also declined to comment, stating that they wanted to respect the mother’s wishes.
A candlelight vigil is scheduled for 6:30 pm Friday, Sept. 25 at 1235 Berrum Place. The family requests that people wear white and a face mask. A GoFundMe has also been organized by Stephanie Lopez.
Kristin Oh is a public safety reporter for the Reno Gazette Journal. She can be reached at email@example.com or at 775-420-1285. Please help support her work by subscribing.