HUNTINGTON STATION, N.Y. (CBS 2) — It was an unlikely pair. They came together following a murder trial. One was in the jury pool; the other the victim’s son.
CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan has their exclusive story and emotional bond.
Denis Caceras never dreamed he’d feel like celebrating his birthday Wednesday, but thanks to a stranger touched by his plight, he now has renewed faith in the human spirit.
“She made a huge difference in my life. Not just my life, my family’s life. She’s an amazing person, beyond an amazing person,” Caceras said.
It was almost a miracle meeting. Andrea Miller was an alternate juror who never got to vote. Caceras was the victim’s son. Following an emotional two-month trial, a robber was convicted of shooting and killing Denis’ hardworking father on the front lawn of their Huntington Station home.
Denis’ mother, Blanca, said she and her two boys sunk into a depression. There was no money for college. Denis dropped out and his dreams of music vanished.
Meanwhile, Miller of Northport had no real way of knowing the toll taken on the Caceras family, but said she suspected their haze of grief. Her children then urged her to reach out.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better person to be helping, because he is a very special kid. And I’m just happy, just very happy that I am shedding some light into their lives and I’m going to continue,” Miller said.
Miller contacted Northport High School, neighbors and friends. They all pitched in to pay for Denis’ tuition and he re-enrolled at Nassau Community College and is once again studying music.
“We are so happy to be able to push the paperwork forward and get that scholarship up and running. It’s so bittersweet,” said Dawn DiStefano of the Nassau Community College Foundation.
“This was my father’s dream to see me succeed,” Denis said.
Caceras said he will succeed thanks to Miller, the catalyst for change in his life.
The Nassau Community College Foundation is continuing the scholarship drive for Caceras. He hopes to become a music major.
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