Family of Road Rage Victim Focuses on Memories, Her Son's Future

CARSON CITY, NV - A sheet of plywood covers the wall on the family home where 19-year-old Desiree Bragg was mortally injured in what was apparently a random act of senseless violence.

Police say 28-year-old Leonardo Cardoza followed Bragg and her fiance home in his van purposely ramming her when she got out of her car, pinning her against the house.

She died days later at Renown Medical Center. So far, investigation has revealed no motive for the attack, no known connection between them.

Those who knew her best say they aren't struggling with questions which may have no answer.

"I don't think there's any reason they could find that would help us understand how she could lose her life," says her aunt Laura Wilson.

Instead their focus is on a young life well-lived and the young child she left behind.

Desiree Bragg grew up in an extended, but close family.

"We didn't have a Dad growing up," remembers her brother John. "It was just me and Des and Mom. She was my best friend. She was always protective of me and I was protective of her too, but it was like having a second Mom around."

"Ever since the day I met her she's always been a happy person," says family friend Sonja Corliss who flew from her home in New Hampshire to be here.

"She was very loving to everyone in her family and obviously everyone attached to her family."

The girl grew to a young woman, the mother of a 5 month old son.

"She was so excited and so happy when she finally got to be a Mom," says Corliss. "I remember her wanting to meet him pretty bad."

And she was looking forward to married life, a career, the future for which she was aiming a goal all expected her to reach.

"She never gave up," says Laura Wilson. "She always fought to have a better life and do good things and be a good person, make us proud and she did make us proud."

That life is gone now and having just endured the awful decision to take her off life support, the family now faces the criminal case and in the years ahead filling the gap left in her son's life.

"I think I'll tell him how much she loved him," says her brother.

"I don't think there's anyone in this family or friends group that will let him grow up not knowing who she was," adds Corliss.

The family says they are grateful for all the support they've received from the community. They are going to need more.

A fund has been set up in Desiree Bragg's name. All proceeds will go to her son's education.

You'll find the information you need on this web site under "KOLO Cares."


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