A week or more

Haydee Soto, 42, was a mother of 4 children. She lived in an apartment with two of the children John James “J.J.” Bordoy, 15, and Valerie Rivera, 13, and her half brother Hector Viera, 34. Reportedly she was a devoted, fun loving mother, and was well liked by her neighbors.

J.J. reportedly had muscular dystrophy (some reports say multiple sclerosis) and was in a wheelchair. But relatives have said he was outgoing and protective of his little sister. He liked to joke around and play videogames and he liked to draw. Relatives have said he could draw anything. Valerie Rivera loved to sing, and is also described as very creative, and a good artist as well as a great student.

Hector Viera reportedly moved in with the family some time ago. He had recently served time in a Puerto Rican prison. Haydee Soto introduced him to neighbors as her brother. But Valerie Rivera once confided in a friend that he slept with her mother. And she also said he sometimes mistreated them.

According to some reports Viera seemed jealous and controlling, both of the children and of Mrs. Soto. Neighbors have said they sometimes heard loud noises from the apartment, some banging sounds and the sound of the children screaming. One neighbor reports seeing Mrs. Soto about two weeks ago with a bruise on her upper arm and a black eye.

Neighbors report they had been smelling an odor in the building. They had attempted to make contact with the family, but did not get any answer to their knocks on the door and the apartment had been dark for about a week. They thought the family had possibly gone somewhere. And one of Mrs. Soto’s older children contacted police because she had been unable to make contact with her mother.

Police went to the apartment around 8 am on Sunday morning, and failing to get a response from the residents, they broke down the door. They found Mrs. Soto dead in her bedroom, Valerie was also in her bedroom still wearing her school backpack. J.J. was found on a hallway floor. Hector Viera was found in the kitchen with a needle in his arm.

Police theorize that Viera killed Mrs. Soto first, then killed the children as they came in from school. Causes of death will not be known until after the autopsy,  but police say they found a bloody bat in the apartment.

Neighbors say they last saw the family members on Dec. 1 st, police have said the family appeared to have been dead since at least Thursday or Fri. and perhaps a week or more.

Police say there were no reports of domestic violence in the family.

The daughter who had been trying to reach her mother reportedly was wanting to tell her of a recent suicide in the family.

nypost.com                  nytimes.com                    nysun.com

abc.go.com        newsday.com         silive.com        ny1.com

In another unexpected twist, Haydee Soto had been faced with domestic violence before. In June 1986 she pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the shooting of her then boyfriend. Reportedly she said at that time that the boyfriend held a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. However, the gun jammed and did not go off. Soto was able to knock the gun from his hand and pick it up. She pulled the trigger and the gun discharged. She had also told family members that that boyfriend abused her. She served 2 1/2 years in prison. Family believes this may have played into the decision to stay with Hector Viera.




  1. betsy said,

    January 2, 2007 at 3:28 am

    unfortunately, i have met and talked to these 2 kids for the last 3 years through my daughter, who knew J.J. and Valerie. my daughter can’t understand why, if these kids were abused by this man, they wouldnt tell her. i can’t even begin to explain to her that, just because she was close to them and confided in her quite a bit, that it is possible that he abused them, physically or otherwise, and may have been too scared of the repurcussions had they told anyone. my daughter lives 700 miles away from me (she is only 13) because of domestic violence and drug abuse (there was never any abuse to my children, other than the emotional stress caused by a mother with a drug addiction) and to have something like this hit so close to home, well, it’s unimaginable. i don’t even know what to say to her, other than after time, it won’t hurt so bad. to be honest, i never thought someone else’s tragedy would affect us; i always thought it would be our own…

  2. January 2, 2007 at 3:53 am

    Betsy, thank you for your comment and your honesty. That had to have been hard for you. Kids don’t always tell. They live a life of secrecy, being told not to tell at home, and often fearing what will happen if they do tell. They fear they will be blamed if the parent get in trouble, and usually despite what may happen they love their parent. Also, kids often think that if they ignore it, it will go away (just like they do with school reports or other things they don’t want to do.)
    So often they stay quiet, and the times that they can play without worry are precious to them. So at that time they want to try to forget, not to remember bad times. That may have been what it was with your daughter, they wanted to enjoy being with her and not think of the bad times at home.
    Also one thing that your daughter could be so concerned about, she may need reassurance from you that you are safe. With her history, this may have brought back some old memories, old fears. If you are safe now, then reassure her. But do not lie about it, as kids usually can tell if and when parents are not being truthful.
    If it is causing her major problems, a short round of counseling may be in order to allow her to work through all of the issues.
    And above all, tell her and show her you love her, and that she is safe. And you are right, time will help a lot.

  3. Halie said,

    January 18, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    This is the daughter of Betsy. umm I knew the family for almost 4 years, and when i founf out what happened to them i felt horrible, i choked. When they were murdered i felt like i had lost my own family like Haydee was like a mother to me, and also because Valerie was like a little sister to me, and i used to help them both with their homework and just help them through a lot of things that were hard for him. J.J. did infact tell me that he was hurt once, but her told me that it was a long time ago so i wasnt sure if he was lying to me or not! John and I were very close and those kids including Haydee were wonderful people I feel really lonely now that i dont have my best friend my 2nd mother and my little sister i love them with all my heart!!! It was also very hard because John’s birthday just past, and he was so excited about it, and it’s sad because he was killed before he could even have it and he wanted his swwet 16 so bad. John and I dated for 3 1/2 years, and in that time i came to know his whole family. I am not speaking with their aunt Barbara, and making sure that the rest of the family is okay and holding up well because i was very worried about them. Well yeah, I just thought i would say those things. And as of now i am seeing a counselor so help me get through the pain of the loss but I’m holding up well, and just trying to remember that one day i will see them again!

  4. January 18, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    Halie, thank you for stopping in and letting me know how you are doing. I am glad you are getting counseling and that it is helping. Loss, grief hurts. The first year is the hardest. When you are missing them the most, sometimes it helps to put your thoughts down in writing. Say what you would tell them if they were there with you. Tell them how much you love and miss them. Then find someone in your life that you love and spend some time with them- in person or by phone. Tell them you love them. It really does help.

  5. Halie said,

    February 27, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    Hi this is Halie again the one that was with John for almost 4 years. I just stopped by to let u know that everything has gotten a lot easier since i have been talking to his aunt i mean things r still really hard and i miss him a lot, but i have to live on for him and Valerie and Haydee so i know that they could be proud of me. Me and my little sister just recently let off a balloon for John’s 16th birthday well actually it was about a month ago but neway, we wrote a note and asked that who ever dfounf it to please call and let us know how far it got well a couple days ago we got a call from a woman in Minnesota letting us know that she found the balloon yesturday. I cried my heart out because i got to the point where i thought that no one was going to call but just thought i would let u know got to go bye

  6. February 27, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    Halie, thank you so much for stopping by and letting me know. I am glad things are getting easier for you. You will always remember, and there may be times that things get difficult again but you now know you will make it through. That is a big step. Good luck to you.

  7. Lisa said,

    June 11, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    this is Lisa and i live in california i meet jj wen i was 12 on aol in a chat room i no it sounds pretty crazy but we talked on the phone evry night almost he was a nice caring and funny boy i new his sister i tlkd to his mom a cople of times and icould tell how much she loved them when i was on the phone with jj i could hear his mom telling him goodnight sweatheart and that she loved him and now i am 16 and i have known them for quite a while i loved jj so much and when i found out i busted into tears. i will nevr forget his laugh or voice ever i pray for him and his family every night before i go to sleep. i found out because jj would call me every friday night and if he couldnt on a saturday and we always new the three hour difference in new york and california so we new what time to call each other. so i realized i hav not talked or he has not called me in about three weeks i got worried i called and called and called no one answered it just went straight to his moms voicemail and then i went on a site called myspace.com a place for friends and i went to his page to leave him a message to tell him to call me but then i started reading his comments they all sayd RIP jj we will miss u as i kept reading i realized he was gone. so i messaged a couple of his friends and asked what had happened and they told me . i have a picture of jj on my wall that he sent me through e-mail and i will never take it down i remember we used to talk for hours and hours until we got tired and wanted to go to sleep. i wont ever forget how his mom told him how she loved him everynight before she went to sleep or how he treated his sister so sweet i also will never forget how he told me that he loved me and that when we both turned 18 we would take a air plaine and meet somewhere but that never got to happen ='[ well my thoughts and prayers go to his family u all will be missed =[

    love always truly,

  8. Lisa said,

    June 11, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    i aslo forgot to mention john was my boyfriend from when i was 12 and he was 13 to when i was 13 and he was 14 when he turned 15 and i was 14 we just decided to be friends and we became best friend his new girlfriend yasmine and him started dating he would call me if he had any problems and tell me and i would help him out and hi hallie i remember u i remember we used to fight on aim over jj but it was silly and imsorry but i dated jj for 2 years and then we became friends when he started going out wit hallie then when they fbroke up he had a gf naemd yasime but anyways i miss them he was my best firend and i loved him alott

  9. Lisa said,

    June 11, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    hallie if u want to ever talk to me IM me at imsodamloveable1 thats my screen name

  10. Lisa said,

    June 11, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    i also dated jj for 2 years n then we became best friends

  11. Lisa said,

    June 11, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    i love u guys and i miss all of u


    i will see u soon hopefully =’/

    and i will never forget when i turn 18 i wuld go visit all you guys anf stay with u
    but i will keep my promise to still go to ny when i am 18

    peace and love


  12. June 12, 2007 at 2:16 am

    Lisa, I am glad that enjoyed the time you had with JJ. But please be cautious. When you talk with someone on the internet, you don’t really know who is at the other end. This time it really was JJ. But the next time it could be anyone- another young boy, a woman or an old man who are pretending to be a young boy. Meeting people you don’t know online can be very dangerous for you.

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