Remembering Ricky Rodriguez
The Family International was saddened by the death of Ricky Rodriguez (aka Pete, David / Davidito) on January 8, 2005. Ricky was the son of Karen Zerby who, with her husband, is the administrative and spiritual overseer of the Family International. Ricky (1975-2005) committed suicide after taking the life of Angela Smith (1953-2005), a Family member of over 30 years. The tragic circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths have brought much grief and heartbreak to Angela's and Ricky's families, relatives, and friends, as well as to both present and past members of the Family International.
Ricky withdrew from the Family International in 2000 in order to pursue his education and other interests. Although he left the Family on relatively good terms, he later became estranged from his mother and sister and began to denounce the Family, his parents, and his upbringing. On January 8, 2005, Ricky killed Angela, a close friend of his mother, and then took his own life. This was an unconscionable act, a grievous sin.
The Bible says, however, that Jesus died for our sins, no matter what sins have been committed. Jesus promised eternal life to all who receive Him as their Savior (John 3:16, Romans 6:23). As such, Ricky is now partaking of life everlasting because he accepted Jesus as his Savior when he was a child. We believe he is in Heaven. However, we also believe, because of his actions, he must undergo a time of healing and rehabilitation there. (See the "On Suicide" section of this site.)
This website is a memorial for Ricky by those of us, his relatives and friends in the Family International, who knew him before his departure and subsequent estrangement from the Family. Throughout the site he is often referred to as Pete, as this is the name he chose to use from the time he was 14 until he left the Family when he was 25. Those who remember him on this site never knew him as Ricky, only as Pete. This website is in remembrance of the Pete his family and friends knew before his life took a vastly different turn upon his leaving our fellowship. This is how we knew him, loved him, and how we wish to remember him.
John 3:16 -- For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Romans 6:23 -- For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.