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Jeffrey Castro, 18, left, comforts his mother, Sonia Jimenez, at their Lawrence apartment yesterday while talking about the death of her son Justin Castro, who was murdered earlier this month in Methuen.

METHUEN — Jeffrey Castro held his brother in his arms as Justin was dying from being stabbed on a Methuen street.

“I screamed at him to fight,” said Jeffrey Castro, who calls his older brother his other half. “It breaks my heart.”

The family of Justin Castro, 20, of Lawrence, who was stabbed to death outside a home on Center Street just over the line from Lawrence, is pleading for witnesses to come forward to identify Justin’s killer. Two weeks after Justin died, police say witnesses are hesitant to talk.

“People are fearful to talk. We’re working every angle,” Police Chief Joseph Solomon said. The police do not know why Justin was killed, but said the incident was not random.

Wearing a rosary around her neck and a t-shirt adorned with a picture of Justin and his 8-month-old daughter, Jannayah, Justin’s mother, Sonia Jimenez, talked about her son yesterday in her Lawrence home.

“I know (police) are doing the best they can,” Jimenez said. “It’s really frustrating because if that happened to someone else, and Justin was there, I know he would come forward.”

Justin Castro, nicknamed “Ghost” by his friends, was at 84 Center St. in Methuen on May 5 to watch a boxing match with friends, including his brother and sister, Yezzenia, his mother said. He went outside to have a cigarette and he was confronted by a group of people, Jimenez said.

She said she doesn’t know what happened next or why Justin was stabbed. He died early in the morning on May 6 at Lawrence General Hospital.

“It’s not fair for someone to take his life,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez said her son had a troubled past and liked to party, but he had begun to change his life after his daughter was born. He was getting his GED and also working with the Department of Social Services on parenting skills to get full-time custody of his daughter. She said he had recently moved in with friends in Lawrence.

The day before the Center Street party, Jimenez said, she and her son had an argument.

“I told him I didn’t want him to come home,” Jimenez said, with tears in her eyes. “He came back the next day and bought me a plant and a paperweight with Jesus’ hands. He said he loved me. My son died that day, and I didn’t get to say how sorry I was.”

After his death, the family found a Mother’s Day card Justin had bought. The card, with green and pink flowers on it, had not yet been signed.

Justin’s death has been a shock to his six siblings, Jimenez said.

“They feel he’s still going to walk through the door,” Jimenez said.

Jeffrey Castro, 19, said his brother loved the spotlight. He said Justin was like a Pop-Tart, hard on the outside and soft in the middle. When the two brothers weren’t trying to one up each other with clothes, they often went to flea markets to buy sunglasses.

“It hurts me,” he said. “My brother, my other half, is not around anymore.”

A memorial of candles, flowers and stuffed animals set up on Center Street where Justin was killed has been taken down, at the request of police. Jimenez has some of the items in her home and wants to make some type of permanent memorial to honor her son.

“I wish I had a minute just to tell him I love him,” Jimenez said. “Give him one last hug.”

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