A 7-year-old boy, left home alone, died in a fire at his southwest Oklahoma City home. Now, that little boy's death is being ruled a homicide. Not because he was left alone, but because Oklahoma City police found evidence the home had been broken into while the boy's mother and boyfriend were away.
People have been driving by the house all day, horrified over the news that a little boy died and that he was left home alone.
We were here when family members showed up to leave these flowers and balloons behind.
Bernabe Reyes and his family still can't believe it. He says they had just spent Sunday afternoon with him, and that his name was Roberto Avalos, his 7-year-old nephew.
"I'm really sad, I loved this kid like, he's my child," Reyes said.
Now he's creating this makeshift memorial, to the little nephew he will never see again.
"I received a call about 5 o'clock this morning that the house got on fire and he died outside," Reyes said.
Police say the fire started just after midnight.
"We were playing with him yesterday at home," remembered Reyes. "Playing basketball, and it is amazing you wake up next morning and he's gone."
Reyes says little Roberto was a smart, sweet kid who loved to play basketball.
They still can't believe he's gone, and that he was left home alone, especially since he says his 2 year old brother was at a grandparents' house.
"What I know so far is mom was out with the boyfriend and she leaves her boy alone at home," Reyes said.
Neighbors here are also in shock about the fire that claimed the little boy's life.
"And for him to be left alone like that with no parents, that's sad," said Jesus Rodriguez, who lives down the street and saw the fire.
"Very sad that he died alone," said Lisa Rodriguez, who lives down the street with her husband Jesus.
Word that the fire was the result of a break in shocks the people who live here. They say this neighborhood has the occasional car break in, but nothing like this.
Lisa and Jesus say Roberto and his family had only been living here a couple of months, but that there was a lot of traffic coming in and out of the house.
Roberto's uncle has this to say to the persons responsible.
"They can run but they can't hide."
Right now police have not made any arrests.