Local News

Nov 23, 2013 11:21 PM by Heather Jackson

Family Speaks out in Taft Teen Death Investigation

TAFT - The sheriff's department is investigating the death of an 18-year-old in Taft.

Robert Medina passed away Thursday.

Detectives say his death may be linked to synthetic marijuana.

The family says Robert's death is not drug related.

According to the family, the teenagers brother was admitted to the hospital after learning robert had died.

Family members say they are waiting on the toxicology reports to come in and they hope that will give them some answers on why the 18-year-old passed away.

"We are devastated right now because of what happened. You know what I mean? Because we are like everyone else in shock...trying to figure out how his life could be taken away at 18 years old," Cathy Martinez, Medina's relative.

Cathy Martinez is Robert Medina's aunt.

She says Robert was here in his home on Mary street in Taft, Thursday afternoon, when he told his mother he was tired.

"He laid down to take a nap and wouldn't wake up and that is how they found him," Cathy shares.

She says they then took him to the hospital.

Soon after...Robert's older brother showed up.

But Cathy says the brother did not make it out of the parking lot because he passed out.

"He didn't know how else to deal with the problem. You know? He just started having problems with his breathing right after he found out his brother didn't make it," Cathy shares.

Robert's cousin, David Mires is also taking it hard.

"Iit is devastating you know...from seeing him the day before...giving him a ride home and stuff like that...and seeing that he wouldn't wake up...it's devastating," David Mires, the cousin of Robert Medina explains.

David says he and his cousin were close...and knew his cousin as a good quiet person.

"He was always to himself, he wasn't a trouble maker, he wasn't a drug addict," David Mires, the cousin of Robert Medina explains.

Cathy says he was a caring person who dropped out of high school his junior year to take care of his mother who is facing severe depression.

"His main priority was to be there for his mother...that is all that he waned. They are going through alot , They have been through a lot and now that this happened to them this is even worse," Cathy explains.

Cathy says as the family await the autopsy report...they need help with funeral costs.

"You know we are trying to give them the help that they need, but we need the community to get together. Eventhough this is a small community I know that there is good people out here with big hearts," Cathy says.

If you are interested in donating to the family please log onto our website for more information. The family says this is a tough time for them because this is the second death they have to witness recently.

About three years ago the family says they lost Robert's father due to a work related accident.

As for the cause of Robert Medina's death...as soon as we hear anything we will let you know.

If you are interested in donating to the Medina family pleas email them at michael.medina1992@yahoo.com.

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