Deputies searching for slain veteran’s family

Blas Gaitan was murdered 17 years ago. Now Arizona authorities are hoping to find family to receive his Bronze Star, military badges, jewelry and other belongings.

Pinal County, Ariz. – Officials with Arizona’s Pinal County Sheriff’s Office are hoping to track down the family of a decorated war veteran who was killed 17 years ago, so they can get precious items back to them.

“We investigated that homicide, the suspect was sentenced, this property was left behind and we have been unable to locate a family member that we can get this to or anybody that will claim it for him,” says Chief Deputy Matthew Thomas.

The items include military badges, jewelry and honors.

One certificate showed Blas Gaitan received the Bronze Star Medal for his service.

Deputies said the veteran had fallen on hard times and was homeless at the time of his death.

“This is everything he had with him. This was his world,” Thomas says. “And, as you can see, he was very proud of his military service so we want to honor that.”