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The massacre victims: their story

Jackie Reyes rarely took her infant son along on shopping trips. On Wednesday she did, and the baby died in his dead mother's arms. Neva Caine was a happy 22-year-old newlywed on her way up the ranks of the McDonald's organization. Omar Hernandez was a bright, eager 11-year-old - a grammar-school politician and scholarship winner.

Mrs. Reyes and her baby, Mrs. Caine, Omar and 17 others -- none of them rich or famous, just there at the wrong time -- were victims of a mad rampage in an ordinary McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, Calif.

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They were the teen-agers who are ubiquitous behind the counters of fast-food restaurants. They were householders and business people, kids and retired sun-lovers -- a regular small-city mix of people. Some were American citizens. Some, in this border town, were Mexican.

Following are sketches of these victims, compiled by UPI from interviews, when possible, with their families and friends.

At press time, information remained incomplete on some victims.

THE DEAD

Victims 1 and 2: Jackie Wright Reyes, 18, a housewife from San Ysidro. Dropped out of Southwest High School in her senior year to raise her son, Carlos, 8 months. Went shopping for a cousin's wedding with a group of friends and a niece, Aurora Pena. Took little Carlos along. Bought diapers at K Mart and stopped at McDonald's for dinner with $20 that Aurora's mother, Heriberta Pena, had given them to spend. Jackie rarely took Carlos on shopping trips, but did this day. Boy died in the arms of his slain mother. Jackie saved her niece by placing her own body between her and the killer.

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Carlos, friends say, was the center of Jackie's life. She was a dreamer, too, they said, often talking of visiting far-off lands.

Jackie was the youngest of five sisters and a brother and lived behind the family house.

Victim 3: Paulina Aquino, 22, Chula Vista, Calif. Employee of McDonald's for five months. Native of Tijuana; had lived in United States four years. Attended Southwestern College in Chula Vista; majored in business and English.

Victims 4-5: Blythe Regan Herrera, 31, housewife, Orange, Calif. Husband, Ronald, and son, Mateo, 11, were returning to their home after a five-day camping trip and family reunion in Ensenada, Mexico. Had left their other son, 6-month-old Brandon, at home with Blythe's parents. Took a break at McDonald's after crossing the border. Mother and son died. Ron, a precision inspector at the Smith Oil Co. in Riverside, Calif., was wounded. Mateo's friend, Keith Thomas, 12, Burbank, Calif., along on the trip, was wounded. Family members said Mateo was 'into' soccer, break-dancing and baseball.

Victim 6: Neva Caine, 22, San Diego. Had risen in McDonald's ranks to position of manager at the border outlet after gaining experience with the chain's restaurants in Phoenix. Wife of chiropractor Andrew Caine. Married a month; eager to start a family. Friends said they were very much in love. Neva described as 'down-to-earth' woman who grew up around horses and loved nature. Andy escaped serious injury.

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Victim 7: Lawrence Herman Versluis, 62, trucker who moved from Iowa to Chula Vista in late 1940s. Nicknamed 'Captain' and smoked a pipe clenched in his teeth. During World War II was stationed at Pearl Harbor. Rose to become senior man in the crew of 30 drivers at McLean Trucking Co. Had planned to retire this week after 38 years with the company. Chose early retirement to spend his time camping, hunting and fishing with Isabel, second of two wives. Retirement party had been planned for this week.

Victims 8-9: Miguel Victoria, 74, retired trucker, and his wife, Alicia, 70, both of Tijuana, Mexico. McDonald slayings second family tragedy this year. A son, Roberto, flight director at Tijuana's International Airport, decapitated by a propellor in June while giving directions to a light plane. Fact that the American pilot was not brought to trial caused local controversy. Miguel moved to Tijuana from Mexico City 14 years ago to be closer to American sports; had founded the first American football team in Mexico City. Couple drove every Wednesday from upper-middle class neighborhood, Colonia Cacho in Tijuana, to visit Roberto's widow, Marisela Herrera de Victoria, and their two grandchildren in Chula Vista. Often stopped to do laundry in San Ysidro on the way home. Wednesday they stopped at McDonald's for carry-out burgers requested by a son, Ricardo, back in Tijuana. Died clutching one another.

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