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Mother of Murdered 12-Year-Old Boy Reacts to Suspect’s Arrest

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Nicole Foster opens up about the death of her son, 12 year-old Donovan Ruland, and the impact its had on her family, after police arrest an unidentified 15-year-old for his murder. She says it’s been especially difficult for her daughter, Layla.

“She’s empty without him. He was her best friend,” said Foster about Layla’s relationship with her brother Donovan. “It’s hard on her. You know, it’s a life adjustment for all of us not having that special person in our lives anymore.”

Ruland was killed in may during a robbery attempt in an alley near 4th St. and 16th Ave. Police say the gunman shot Ruland in the chest so he could steal his ATV. Foster found out Friday the teen suspect turned himself in. She says she broke down into tears.

“At first I didn’t get too excited, because they’ve already had a suspect in custody once before,” she said. “So with this, I just waited out, and when I finally heard it today, I sat and cried. It’s a relief.”

Investigators won’t say what charges the suspect faces, but for now, he is being charged as a juvenile. Foster says she’ll fight to make sure he’s tried as an adult.

“You went in with the intent to shoot this little boy, when he would have just given it to you,” Foster said. “You didn’t get anything out of this but a life sentence.”

Foster says even if her son’s suspected killer spends years behind bars, his family would still be able to see him and talk with him — something she won’t get to do with Donovan.

“You can write your mom, you can see your mom. I can’t see my son,” said Foster. “Those memories, him growing up…that was all taken from us. He’ll never get to be a teenager. He’ll never get to be an adult.”

Foster says while the arrest brings some relief, there’s still a long way to go.

“It’s gonna be a long journey in this trial, and hopefully I can drag it out as long as possible to get the answers that we need,” she said.

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