A man accused of slashing the throats of two children was indicted last week.
On September 2, 2012, Osvaldo Rivera, 32, allegedly went inside a home on the 900 block of Ware Street in Camden. Once inside, Rivera allegedly tried to sexually assault a 12-year-old girl. Police say the girl’s brother, 6-year-old Dominick Burgos, rushed to his sister’s aid.
Rivera then allegedly slashed the throats of both children before fleeing the scene. Two other children were inside the home at the time of the attack but were not injured.
The young girl managed to run to her neighbor’s home up the block. When police arrived, they say they found her lying on the floor with blood covering her face, neck and upper body. Investigators say the girl told a police officer at the scene she was having trouble breathing and that “Poppy did it.” Police say she then said “Poppy raped me.” Police then went to the children’s home where they found Dominick bleeding from his neck. He was pronounced dead just after 3 a.m.
Interviews led investigators to learn that Rivera lived in the area and went by the nickname “Popeye.” Rivera was known to spend nights at an apartment on the 3200 block of River Road and police found him there about 4 p.m. that same day. Police say he was hiding between a mattress and a bedroom wall.
Police also say they found blood-stained sneakers that matched bloody footprints in the home on Ware Street. Rivera allegedly told investigators the shoes were his, according to the probable cause statement. Police say Rivera also told investigators he was smoking a combination of marijuana and PCP, known as “Wet,” shortly before the attack.
Charges were filed against Rivera around 2 a.m. the next day.
On August 28, 2013, Rivera was indicted for murder, attempted murder, aggravated sexual assault, burglary and other related offenses.
Rivera also faces indictments on counts of aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child in the assault of a 2-year-old Camden boy back on August 13, 2012. Police say that attack is unrelated to the 6-year-old boy's death.
On Monday, family and friends held a memorial mass for Dominick, exactly once year since his death.
The mass took place at St. Cecilia's Church in Pennsauken, N.J. Attendees then participated in a memorial walk at 7th and Ware Streets in Camden.
Dominick's family continues to deal with the aftermath of the violent attack.
"No mother should go through a pain like this," Burgos said.
The Burgos family has moved from the home where the attack occurred but they haven't forgotten what they lost there. Burgos says she hopes to keep Dominick's memory alive.
"Just like he's kept alive in our home I want to world to keep him alive also," Burgos said.
Dominick’s sister was hospitalized for about a month after the attack. Her family says she has physically recovered and even returned to school last year. However, they also say she is still dealing with a lot emotionally.
Rivera is currently being held in the Camden County Jail.