Father of 2 beaten to death in International District; victim’s mom asks witnesses to come forward
SEATTLE — Investigators say it started with a fistfight in the International District.
When police got there, they found a man who wasn’t breathing on the sidewalk.
Benito Enriquez, 31, was pronounced dead at Harborview Medical Center.
Now police need your help identifying the suspect caught on camera.
The victim’s mother, Christina Enriquez, says she lived for her son.
“He was definitely a teddy bear, a gentle giant, so compassionate and loved children,” Enriquez said.
Benito had two daughters of his own and before heading to the Kenny Chesney concert Saturday night, he made a promise.
“He had made a promise to his daughters that he would buy them T-shirts and come home earlier,” Enriquez said.
Benito kept his word, he told his friends he would meet them at the car after buying the shirts.
“I just wish we got there 15 to 20 minutes before,” friend Joey Smith said.
Because when his friends got to the car at about 9 p.m., Benito was already on the way to Harborview.
“The examiner told me there was so much damage to his head that once he went to the ground, the guy repeatedly kicked him,” Smith said.
Seattle police say a man in a white T-shirt and a trucker-style baseball cap could be responsible for beating Benito to death.
Surveillance video captured Benito walking next to the suspect and a woman in her 20s in the International District.
A short time later, medics found Benito about 300 feet away at 5th and South Weller with no pulse.
“I see his red truck, my heart beats a little faster because I think he is home and I can hardly wait to be with him,” Enriquez said.
But her only child is gone, a 31 year-old father who became a nurse to help the disabled.
“When I had a rough day, he says you don’t have a rough day, mom, I work with people who have a rough day. He said they are ones who need your help,” Enriquez said.
Now Benito's loved ones are the ones who need help.
“Any information how minimal it is, it doesn’t matter, just please step forward,” Enriquez said.
Police say the suspect is a male in his 20s with a medium to stocky build. He is 5-foot-11 to 6-foot-1. He is possibly Hispanic, Middle Eastern or Pacific Islander.
The woman he was with is described as a white female in her 20s, 5-foot-8. She has long, straight blonde hair and she's possibly pregnant.
Enriquez knows it’s too late to bring her son back but she worries that the suspect will strike again.
“My heart is broken so much and the only reason I am here is my 6- and 8-year-old granddaughters,” Enriquez said.
Near the spot where Benito died, friends posted a message and pictures of him. The family planned to be back at the corner of 5th and S. Weller at 8 p.m. for a vigil.