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Pata case still unsolved

Nearly two years after the tragic death of University of Miami football player Bryan Pata, his killer continues to elude authorities. The investigation into the death of the 22-year-old outside his Kendall home in 2006 has been ongoing; there have been no arrests made in the case.

When Pata was killed on Nov. 7, 2006, his death was declared a homicide. Since then there has been no progress in his case. In the meantime, Pata’s family continues to mourn his loss.

“I can’t make it anymore. We need to hear something,” said Jeanette Pata, Bryan’s mother, in a recent interview with NBC 6.

Several months ago, NBC 6 ran a story detailing the progress in this case. Lt. Bill Hellman of Miami-Dade police said, “As we move forward, we’ve been able to eliminate a lot of possibilities as to what happened to Bryan on Nov. 7, 2006.”

Jada Brody, Pata’s girlfriend at the time, transferred to Clemson after his death, and Hellman said the police have ruled her out as a suspect. The Pata family has since lost touch with her.

Pata’s family recently established the Bryan Pata Foundation, which focuses on discouraging violence among inner-city kids. Last May, his family also accepted a posthumous degree in Bryan’s honor. The football team has also continued to deal with this loss.

Bryan Pata may have passed away almost two years ago, but that certainly does not mean that he has been forgotten. Many groups on Facebook and MySpace are dedicated to keeping his memory alive. People continue to leave heartfelt messages for Pata on his profiles, such as the most recent post by former teammate Tavares Gooden: “Whats up my boy almost there man, we did it… almost there; this is tough without you man but this weekend is what we wanted all out lives and I know you are still with me every time I take the field.”

Claire Arritola may be contacted at c.arritola@umiami.edu.

April 28, 2008

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.