Community Members Gather to Honor Murdered Man

Photo: A Celebration of Life. Amber Nelson, the fiancee of the late Adolfo Ignacio Celedon, commemorates his life at the site of his murder in South Berkeley on Saturday. At the event, community members called for continued investigation into the unsolved case.
Kevin Foote/Photo
A Celebration of Life. Amber Nelson, the fiancee of the late Adolfo Ignacio Celedon, commemorates his life at the site of his murder in South Berkeley on Saturday. At the event, community members called for continued investigation into the unsolved case.

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To raise awareness of the unsolved murder of Adolfo Ignacio Celedon Bravo and commemorate his life, his fiancee and friends gathered with other community members Saturday at the South Berkeley site where he was shot and killed six months ago.

Celedon was shot several times in the course of an attempted robbery as he was walking home from a party with his fiancee Amber Nelson, a UC Berkeley graduate student, at 3:41 a.m. on Sept. 12 at the intersection of Adeline and Emerson streets and was pronounced dead after being taken to a local trauma center. It was his 35th birthday.

There have been no arrests in connection with the incident, and the Berkeley Police Department has not identified any suspects.

Nelson, who organized the event Saturday, hung a timeline of Celedon's life on the wall of a neighboring building, and she and others drew pictures and wrote messages on the ground in chalk. A friend of the couple, Shaleece Haas, said it was a "day to tend the garden" that has been planted along the sidewalk in memory of Celedon, known to friends and family as "Fito."

Celedon moved to Berkeley from Chile in February 2010 to be with Nelson while she finished her graduate work on campus. The two met when Nelson was travelling in South America.

According to his sister, who travelled to Berkeley from Chile for the event, Celedon had wanted to "change the world" through theater. She said he had given up his job as a commercial engineer in Chile to become an actor and wanted to promote social justice. At the time of his death, he was working full-time, building boats at the Berkeley Marina, Nelson said.

"He was a dreamer, absolutely a dreamer," his sister, Alejandra Celedon, said.

Nelson said the couple had planned to move down to Brazil following her planned graduation in December, as Adolfo Celedon was an avid soccer fan and wanted to find a job there that would involve him in World Cup. Nelson said she intends to carry on with this plan, even after his death.

"I'll know he'll be there for the World Cup," she said. "That's why I know I'm going to be there too."

Rolando Ortega, consul general at the Chilean Consulate in San Francisco, spoke at the event and requested "the most expeditious investigation and prompt solution to this case ... so that the family of Adolfo can achieve the peace they deserve."

Berkeley police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss also spoke, urging the community to share any information that could aid in the investigation. The city of Berkeley is offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction, in addition to a $2,000 reward offered by the Bay Area Crime Stoppers.

"The most insignificant detail sometimes can be what solves this crime," she said at the event.

Tags: HOMICIDE, BERKELEY POLICE DEPARTMENT, BAY AREA CRIME STOPPERS


Contact Courtney Moulds at [email protected]



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