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14-year-old boy found dead at Denver recreation center was beaten, stabbed and shot

Denver Police are asking for tips in the murder of Josiaz "JoJo" Aragon, who was found dead near a Denver recreation center Monday.

DENVER — Josiaz "JoJo" Aragon should have been celebrating his 15th birthday on Wednesday. Instead, police are investigating his murder.

The teenage boy's body was found Monday near the baseball diamond at the Southwest Recreation Center. On Wednesday, the Denver Police Department (DPD) said he was the victim of a homicide.

He was killed at about 1:15 p.m. Monday at the recreation center at 9200 W. Saratoga Pl., police said. That's north of West Belleview Avenue between South Kipling Street and South Wadsworth Boulevard.

A DPD spokesperson said the boy suffered trauma, but wouldn't specify how the boy was killed. The Denver Medical Examiner's Office said Aragon was shot, stabbed and beaten. No suspects have been identified in the case.

"This is a family that is very distraught with the loss of a boy. Today they would have been celebrating his 15th birthday. So any help that our community can provide to help our investigators to identify and hold accountable those who were responsible for this homicide, we encourage them to reach out to crime stoppers and provide that kind of information,” said police spokesperson Doug Schepman.

The city has seen 60 homicides this year. The police department said it is worried the county may surpass last year's homicide count of 96. 

Among those killed in Denver this year, nine have been children, the police department said. 

Denver's deadliest year occurred back in 1981 when the city recorded 100 homicides.

Denver Police asked that anyone who has information on the teen's death to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers immediately at 720-913-7867 or metrodenvercrimestoppers.com. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000. 

Metro Denver Crime Stoppers works by assigning a code to people who anonymously submit a tip. Information is shared with law enforcement, and Crime Stoppers are notified at the conclusion of the investigation. 

From there, an awards committee reviews the information provided and, if the information leads to an arrest, the tipster will be notified. Rewards can be collected using the code numbers received when the tip was originally submitted. 

More information about Metro Denver Crime Stoppers can be found here. 

> Additional Crime Stoppers bulletins can be found here. 

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