Family, former girlfriend remember Providence murder victim

Dakota Gosselin's body was found Nov. 20, 2016 in a vacant lot on Lincoln Meadows Drive. Police said the cause of Gosselin’s death was a gunshot wound to the head.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A murder investigation that has spanned through three communities hit home tonight after the victim was identified.

“It’s very very heartbreaking,” said Brenda Gosselin, the stepmother of 21-year-old victim Dakota Gosselin.

Gosselin’s stepmother said she got a Facebook tip a week ago that he had been involved in the incident last week where a body was found in a vacant lot on Lincoln Meadows Drive. She immediately contacted Providence Police, and it was confirmed Tuesday.

“I felt numb. But I also felt relief. It was relieving to know that now I know where he is. Yes, he was taken from us and it’s tragic and we’re heartbroken. But we know he’s in heaven with God and his siblings and his biological mother and we know we’re going to see him again. My heart sometimes breaks for parents who go years and years without knowing where their children are,” said Brenda.

She and Evalitza Cruz Danzot agreed that Gosselin was fun and kind person.

Cruz Danzot dated Gosselin after the two met in a Providence group home a few years ago. “He was such an amazing person and he didn’t deserve that,” she said.

She also said that Gosselin knew the suspect and the two men were friends, making his death even harder for her to understand.

“If he’s your friend, you know, and you spend a lot of quality time with him, why would you take his life?”

David DeLeon, 19, was charged with Gosselin’s murder. Providence Police believe he shot Gosselin on Nov. 20, then took his body to Lincoln and set it on fire.

DeLeon was found hiding out at a third-floor apartment on Hedley Avenue in a secret compartment of the bathroom.

He was arraigned Monday and is being held without bail.

The renter of the apartment, 39-year-old Erika Gonzalez, was arrested on a charge of harboring a criminal. She was also arraigned Monday and held as a Superior Court violator.