April 24, 2023 | By: Grace Dvorovy
This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and the University of North Florida’s Applied Journalism class.
There were many things that Laura Cuni loved: Cuban coffee, music, dancing, her family, making people laugh and her job. That is what her niece remembers the most about Cuni.
Vivian Sanchez, Laura’s niece, stated “She was always there for me; I would run to my aunt for any kind of problem. Not only was she my aunt, but she was also my god mother”.
Vivian even has a tattoo of a heartbeat with the date her aunt went missing to memorialize her.
And in the six years since her aunt was murdered, those memories have become even more precious.
The two were incredibly close, Vivian recalls her aunt as a safe space where she could go to when she would get into arguments with her mother growing up. Even as she got older, she still saw her aunt at least once a month to do their favorite things, like go to the local casino or out for lunch.
Laura was just a happy go lucky person, always helping others, even buying coffee for people.
“I don’t understand why or who killed her. They didn’t rob her; they just went to kill her.”
According to her niece, Laura was always willing to lend a helping hand or make somebody laugh with a joke.
On June 24, 2016, Sanchez got a call from her mother who told her that her aunt had been murdered.
“She wouldn’t even hurt a fly.”
“Everybody was in shock when they saw the news.”
While working at the Public Storage in Cutler Bay, Laura Cuni was held hostage and beaten to death, with her body was found hours later in the office closet.
No one was arrested for the crime, and Cuni’s family is still fighting for justice. Sanchez’s mother recently made a televised plea to the community asking for any witnesses to come forward.
While they fight for justice, Cuni’s family also holds on to the happy times they had with her, with the memory of her jokes and caring heart.
“It’s been six years,” Sanchez said, “I still talk to her every night before I go to sleep.”
Laura continues to communicate with law enforcement and wants the world to help find the person who did this to her.
“I know someone knows something and they are just not coming forward.”
Sanchez shared that when driving around and passing her beloved aunt’s home, she takes pictures to post on social media to continue with advocacy and awareness for her aunt’s case.
The Miami-Dade Police Department Homicide Bureau continue to investigate the unsolved murder of Laura Cuni. Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at (305)471-TIPS (8477) or (866) 471-8477. You can also dial **TIPS from your mobile device to be connected to Crime Stoppers. Callers will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.
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