Murder victim’s dad crusades for justice in Puerto Rican court
‘I’ve been preparing for this for two years’
In a murky, dangerous Puerto Rican city where there are two murders a day and money talks — but hitmen don’t — Abe Anhang will attend the trial Monday of the man accused of killing his son.
Two years ago, Adam Anhang was expected home in Winnipeg to celebrate the Jewish New Year, but the brilliant entrepreneur and real estate investor never made the trip.
He was stabbed and then beaten to death Sept. 23, 2005, after meeting with his estranged Puerto Rican wife to discuss details of their divorce settlement.
The murder took place in front of the Old San Juan restaurant that Adam, 32, had bought for his wife, Aurea Vazquez Rijos, who was not seriously injured in the attack.
Jonathan Roman, 24, is going to be tried for Adam’s murder, and Abe Anhang will be there, bodyguard in tow.
“I’ve been preparing for two years,” he said this week at his downtown Winnipeg office, where most surfaces are covered with pictures of his firstborn child and only son who, like his dad, loved to travel.
There’s Adam with his little sister, Adam on the Great Wall of China during a family vacation, and Adam at the Taj Mahal with his father.
Since his son’s death, Anhang has travelled alone to San Juan 23 times as executor of his son’s estate, to witness the accused Jonathan Roman’s court appearances, and to investigate the murder.
“Basically, I’m on a mission of my own to try and help police determine what happened,” said Anhang.
“I have a much greater interest in solving this.”
Last September, Abe Anhang filed a $50 million wrongful death civil suit in San Juan against Vazquez Rijos, two members of her family, Roman and several unnamed defendants.
Only Roman, a dishwasher, has been charged.
Anhang said he has had offers from people who could arrange revenge killings of those allegedly involved, but he said he’s having none of it.
“I’m going within the operation of their system, and trusting their system to provide justice.”
The trial is expected to last two weeks. Roman faces a maximum sentence of 99 years in prison with no chance of parole.
If Roman is convicted, it won’t be the end of Anhang’s search for justice, he said. “Others were involved,” he believes. “Time doesn’t heal anything,” he said. “It does give you some perspective.”
Abe Anhang will be in a Puerto Rican court Monday for the trial of the man accused of killing his son two years ago.