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    Police seek motive in East Boston slaying

    Felipe Ospina would have turned 21 years old yesterday. He would have ridden the wave of holiday cheer and crossed that celebratory line into adulthood.

    But on Saturday, two days before his birthday, his body was discovered on Meridian Street about two blocks from his East Boston home. Boston police found him around 5:40 p.m., bleeding from an apparent stab wound.

    He was rushed by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he died nearly an hour later.


    Homicide detectives have not identified the victim. But Edgar Ospina told the Globe yesterday that the slain young man was his oldest son.

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    “He was great, very lovely,’’ Edgar Ospina said in a telephone interview. “All the family is devastated.’’

    In a brief phone conversation, a quiet Edgar Ospina tried to sum up the life of his son. He brought Felipe from his native Colombia to East Boston when the boy was just 7. Felipe had friends and the love of his family. He did not finish high school, but he had been working as an electrician, his father said.

    In family photos, the young Ospina is seen smiling at dinner and posing with relatives in front of a lighted Christmas tree.

    “He was not a bad kid,’’ said Ospina.


    Police have released few details about the ongoing investigation, but over the weekend Officer Eddy Chrispin, a department spokesman, said police are seeking “a person of interest’’ who was seen fleeing on Meridian Street toward a Walgreens store after the stabbing. The man was described as about 5 feet, 2 inches tall and was wearing a green sweater and carrying a beige backpack.

    Edgar Ospina is also trying to find out what led to the killing of his easygoing and well-loved son. The father learned of the slaying when a family member called Saturday.

    Ospina’s death comes in a year that has seen fewer homicides in Boston compared with last year, when there were 74. So far this year, 61 people have been slain in the city.

    “Anytime we see a decrease in crimes, in this case homicides, it’s a good thing,’’ said Officer Jamie Kenneally, a department spokesman. “The fact there is a decrease speaks to the hard work and dedication of our homicide unit and community members willing to aid and assist homicide investigations.’’

    Felipe Ospina had three sisters and a brother, his father said.


    His mother, Patricia, lives in Spain and is trying to get a visa to come to Boston to view her son for the last time.

    Police have released few details about the investigation, but over the weekend Officer Eddy Chrispin, a department spokesman, said police are seeking a person of interest.

    “I just talked to her, and she couldn’t even talk,’’ said Edgar Ospina.

    Jhon Herrera, Felipe Ospina’s cousin, said Ospina worked with him as an apprentice electrician for several years and was branching out on his own.

    “He was a good guy,’’ said Herrera. “He was one of the best helpers and electricians I’ve had.’’

    On Twitter yesterday, friends relayed their grief: “RIP Felipe,’’ said one tweet.

    Ospina’s killing follows four other deaths in Boston during the month of December.

    On Dec. 9, police found a man in his 20s on Winston Road in Dorchester who was suffering from a gunshot wound. The man, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

    On Dec. 6, Victor Brookens, 54, and Daniel Soto, 22, were killed within an hour of each other. Brookens was shot around 7:30 p.m. in a house on Samoset Street in Dorchester. Soto was shot around 8:30 p.m. at a liquor store on Dearborn Street in Roxbury.

    Police said the shootings did not appear to be connected. Both men were pronounced dead at Boston Medical Center.

    Both men were well known to police and neither shooting appears random, authorities said.

    No arrests have been made.

    On Dec. 3, Gail Miles, a 60-year-old former Watertown police officer, was found unresponsive in her home in Roxbury. An autopsy determined her death was a homicide.

    Meghan Irons can be reached at Follower @MeghanIrons