BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – “I kind of lost feeling in my body.”
Devastation. Shock. Heartbreak. All of those emotions hitting Rebecca Martinez last week upon hearing the news that her younger brother, Rudy Cerda, drowned in the New River Gorge.
“Wherever you go, wherever you’re going to be, let me know,'” Martinez said. “‘Because I don’t want to get the call that one day you’re missing, or something’s happened to you.'”
Cerda was 27-years old. A 2012 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, he was no stranger to the Raleigh County community, even winning the 2018 Beckley Toughman contest.
“He was a wonderful kid who gave so much,” Martinez said. “All he ever wanted in return was friendship.”
Jake: “Do you want to talk to me a little bit about some of the memories on there?”
“So this pretty much, all right here, shows you who he was,” Martinez said. “What he loved to do. He liked being outside, riding his bike. He loved his dog.”
In the past, Cerda had struggled with drinking and addiction.
“It changed him at that moment,” Martinez said. “But at the same time, that very same Rudy was inside of him.”
And one person in particular always kept him on track.
“I think the only thing that he loved most in this world was his baby girl Analia,” Martinez said.
And that affection that he gave her, was given right back.
“Anyone that ever met him, loved him,” Martinez said.
Rudy Cerda. Gone, but certainly not forgotten.