By Carla Zanoni and Paul Lomax
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Days after 16-year-old Adionis Santana was stabbed to death during a house party near West 186th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, friends and neighbors paid their respects to the slain teen at a makeshift memorial on the sidewalk nearby.
The shrine, outside 602 West 185th St., was decorated with prayer candles, photos of the teen and his family, along with messages hand-written on cardboard reading, "We will always miss you," and "RIP, great and never forgotten." A steady stream of visitors came to the memorial throughout the day Monday and early Tuesday.
Miguel Reyes, 52, visited the shrine Monday night and said his 16-year-old son Miguel had been at the house party Santana attended over the weekend.
"He [Santana] was my son's best friend," he told DNAinfo. "Everyone is feeling real bad. My son is really bad right now. He's so upset. "
Bryan Roman, an 8-year-old student at local elementary school P.S. 132 Pablo Duarte, also visited the memorial Monday night with his mother.
"He was a great guy," he said. "He was always taking care of his friends."
Visitors continued to visited the memorial Tuesday morning, reading the messages and lighting candles in memory of the slain teen.
One 24-year-old visitor who asked to remain anonymous said he was there to show respect for a neighborhood friend and snapped photos of the shrine with his camera phone.
Santana was found beaten and stabbed on the corner of West 186th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue shortly after midnight on Sunday, Jan. 9, according to police. They could not provide any further details on what had happened to him.
The 16-year-old, who lived nearby at 711 West 190th Street, suffered trauma to the head and two stab wounds to his torso and was taken to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital where he was pronounced dead early Sunday, according to the NYPD.
An investigation is on-going, according to police.