Santa Cruz area Pinoys shocked over murder involving Fil-Am teen suspect

WASTONVILLE, Calif. – It has been one week since 15-year-old Fil-Am Adrian Jerry Gonzalez was arrested for the murder of eight-year-old Maddy Middleton whose body was found in the recycling bin of their apartment complex.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, on Thursday following Gonzalez’s first court appearance his mother Reggie Factor was seen on her knees crying at Maddy’s memorial.

It was then that Maddy’s mother, Laura Jordan, knelt next to her and consoled her saying that she loved her and it was not her fault.

Filipinos who live in Santa Cruz County say that news about Gonzalez continues to be a shock. For those we spoke to who belong to the Filipino Community of Watsonville, the news hits close to home because Gonzalez’s mother was once an active member.

Founded in 1931 the Filipino Community of Watsonville is a non-profit organization that welcomes all kababayans of Santa Cruz County.

The organization services up to 300 Filipinos in the community which at one time included Factor who participated in their fundraising.

“She’s very friendly, very likeable,” said Rose Guerrero, the current vice-president of the organization. “There was nothing I couldn’t say anything bad about her. She’s very nice.”

“She was one of the candidates for the Miss Filipino Community and in fact she won First Princess that’s why she was well-known among the Filipinos here,” said Filipino Community of Watsonville President Real Reyes.

Manny Groyon said that Factor and her son Adrian lived with them for a short time and was just surprised that he could be capable of such a crime.

“I knew him since he was small, around two-years-old until he grew up to about five-years-old,” said Groyon. “He’s a quiet boy and he was always in his room playing with the computer. He was playing with other kids like a regular kid.”

While the Pinoy community here continues to deal with this tragedy they say they hope the public’s attention won’t linger on Gonzalez’ race so that the focus can remain on the families of both children.

“Let’s not be judgmental,” expressed Guerrero. “We don’t know what happened before or after the event; therefore, any parent would be concerned with what happened and we should protect our children, guide them. Let’s pray they get the support they need.”

“All I can say is pray for the family that’s it and whatever we can do for help for the mother that’s it,” said Groyon.

With reporting by Troy Espera

You can contact Rommel Conclara at and follow him on Twitter @rommelconclara for more information.

3 Comments on this post.

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    6 August 2015 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    His “NUTS”, they should lock him up for life, how on earth he can rape and kill a 8 year old girl. Please don’t let that animal on the streets again. We Americans believe Filipinos better have the right answer for this kid.

  • filam
    6 August 2015 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    He should pay for what he did. Try him as an adult

  • David
    7 August 2015 at 7:31 am - Reply

    “let’s not be judgemental… we don’t know what happened before and after the event.” “let’s pray”. bla bla…