Trenton man stabbed to death Tuesday morning

Carlos Leiva-Oviedo and his girlfriend Lesvia Liliana Caballero (submitted photo)

Carlos Leiva-Oviedo and his girlfriend Lesvia Liliana Caballero (submitted photo)

A man from Honduras who has lived in the capital city for about two years was stabbed to death Tuesday morning, becoming the city’s eleventh homicide victim this year.

Carlos Leiva-Oviedo, 27, was stabbed around 3 a.m. Tuesday near the intersection of Hudson and Genesee streets. When police arrived, they found him lying in the street near his car, which was parked on Hudson, suffering from several stab wounds.

Carlos was rushed to the hospital where he died about four hours later.

According to his friends, Carlos moved to Trenton about two years ago to earn money for his family, most of whom still live in Honduras. He was employed as a roofer and also found work repairing and installing aluminum siding.

Carlos was a first-born child and has six siblings and a four-year-old daughter, who all live in Honduras with his mother and father. He sent them money on a weekly basis, his friends said. And a woman who works at an international money transfer service at the corner of Hudson and Genesee confirmed that Carlos wired money to Honduras on a regular basis.

“He called his daughter every week,” his girlfriend Lesvia Liliana Caballero said. “He was a very responsible person. He worked a lot and he paid for his daughter’s life. He sent her money every week.”

His friends gathered outside Carlos’ Genesee Street home Tuesday afternoon and described him as a person who “never messed with anyone” and had a “good friendship with everyone.”

Friends of Carlos Leiva-Oviedo console his girlfriend after learning about his murder Tuesday. (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

Friends of Carlos Leiva-Oviedo console his girlfriend after learning about his murder Tuesday. (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

“I can’t believe it,” 21-year-old Greisy Lopez, who grew up with Carlos and often attended church with him in Honduras said. “He came here looking for a better life. How did this happen to my friend?”

His friends said no one in the neighborhood has any clue as to why Carlos was outside at 3 a.m. They described the neighborhood as a “quiet” place where violent encounters often occur.

Judy Platt, 52, who described Carlos as her best friend, said she last spoke with him around 3 p.m. Monday while they were cleaning the window of his car. She said he told her he’d “be right back,” but the two never spoke to each other again.

“He was very nice and a very quiet guy,” Platt said as she tried to suppress tears. “He loved watching and playing soccer.”

Carlos’ friends said they plan to send his body back to Honduras for burial, but they’re worried about not having money to do so. They plan to speak with churches and local organizations that may be able to provide funds to transfer his body.

After receiving word about the killing, Councilman George Muschal, who represents the South Ward where the fatal stabbing occurred, said “there’s no way of preventing these murders.”

Carlos Leiva-Oviedo

Carlos Leiva-Oviedo

The cops are doing the best they can,” Muschal, a retired city police officer who served 40 years on the force, said. “There’s no way of preventing a stabbing like that. Everybody hollers about guns. But this was a knife. You just can’t stop all crime. If someone’s going to kill a person, they’ll find a way to do it.”

With summer weather upon us, Muschal warns residents to “be prepared.”

It’s going to be a hot summer and it’s going to be a long summer,” the councilman said. “The police are doing the best they can with the manpower they have.”

No arrests have been made in connection with Carlos’ death. As of press time, police have not released a suspect description, nor have they released a motive for the murder.

Anyone with information about the killing is asked to call the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at 609-989-6406, or contact the Trenton Police confidential tip line at (609) 989-3663. Individuals may also call the Trenton Crime Stoppers tip line at (609) 278-8477. Those wishing to text a tip can send a message labeled TCSTIPS to Trenton Crime Stoppers at 274637.

— Trentonian staff writer David Foster contributed to this report

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