‘I won’t rest’: Detective continues search for 22-year-old student’s I-95 killer

MIAMI – Sheila Nunez lost her 22-year-old daughter Melissa Gonzalez during a Friday night shooting on Interstate 95 in Miami-Dade County.

Gonzalez, an aspiring attorney who had graduated from Florida International University, was driving at about 8:30 p.m., on Jan. 3, southbound near Northwest 79 Street.

Gonzalez was with her boyfriend, Julian Veliz Cortina, on her way to visit her grandfather at Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach. Veliz Cortina heard the shooting. Fire Rescue personnel rushed her to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center where she was pronounced dead.

“This year will be the year,” Nunez said. “I want to find the person who murdered my daughter.”

Detective Juan Segovia, the Miami-Dade Police Department’s lead detective in the case, said his search to find Nunez answers continues.

“I won’t rest,” Segovia said. “There is nothing more that I would want than to make that phone call to her one day and say listen we found out who did it or we made progress in the case.”

There were about eight shots fired from a gun. There is the possibility that Gonzalez was not the intended target.

“It is just weird to think the person who did that to my sister is still out there,” said Melanie Machado, Gonzalez’s sister. “Somebody does know something.”

In 2021, Segovia shared a video showing someone jumping into a vehicle and asked the public for information.

“I have said it all along, all it takes is one hero to do the right thing,” Segovia said. “Think of the peace you bring to families. Think of the peace you would bring to Sheila Nunez, Melissa’s mom and have a heart.”

The Florida Department of Transportation cameras on I-95 are used for live monitoring, so Segovia couldn’t find clues there. Gonzalez’s brother, Jose Gonzalez, and Machado have also asked the public for help.

“I would want them to call the number to say what they know because at this point anything is very useful to solve this case,” Machado said.

Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar released a statement saying she has asked Google and NASA for clues to help solve the case and she intends to continue to be there for the family.

“We will not rest until we bring justice to this case,” Salazar said.

The family plans to meet for a public memorial at 8 p.m., on Friday at the Shrine Our Lady of Charity, at 3609 S. Miami Ave.

Authorities are offering a reward of up to $7,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Detectives were asking anyone with information about the case to call Miami-Dade County Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

MDPD (.)
MDPD (.)

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Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."