Murdered soldier laid to rest in Palm City

By Allison Bybee - bio | email

PALM CITY, FL (WFLX) - A Port St. Lucie solider, murdered at Fort Drum, New York, is laid to rest in Palm City.

Diego Valbuena was murdered on December 1, 2009. The accused killer is his roommate, Joshua Hunter.

Dozens gathered at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church for his funeral in Palm City Wednesday morning. Then, a full military burial.

"He was just a great guy," said friend Luis Roman. "He was always smiling, always cheerful, always happy in school. Seriously, he was the best guy ever."

"Everybody was at peace because he's fine in New York, and we weren't expecting that," says family friend Carolina Catala.

Joshua Hunter is a Military Policeman and has been charged with two counts of second degree murder. He's accused of stabbing Valbuena and Port St. John soldier, Waide James, to death. Hunter's family says he has not been the same since he returned from Iraq last Spring.