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NYPD widow announces ‘miracle baby’ at memorial service

Heartbreak turned to shock and joy Saturday at a memorial at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for two slain New York police officers, with a tearful widow of a police officer announcing the couple’s surprise pregnancy to cheers.

“Through sadness and pain it can also be a great birth,” declared Dominique Luzuriaga, the last speaker at the well-attended service honoring her husband Jason Rivera and their partner Wilbert Mora. “I am blessed to say that Jason and I will be waiting for our miracle this spring.”

The audience inside the Midtown church rose to their feet in applause after the mother-to-be shared the revelation on the first anniversary of the January 21, 2022 line-of-duty deaths of her husband and Mora.

Although Jason will not be here in physical form to see and experience our miracle, I know that he will always be here in spirit, waiting for us, protecting us and loving us,” said the widow, wiping away tears.

A high-ranking police source confirmed that Luzuriaga became pregnant using her late husband’s semen. The wife of officer Wenjian Liu, who was killed on duty in December 2014, gave birth to a daughter after her death with sperm extracted from her late husband, and said Rivera’s widow had done the same.

“I am incredibly happy and excited for Dominique,” ​​Sanny Liu said after the service, which she attended with her 5-year-old daughter Angelina. “Dominique has a big heart and a deep love for her husband. Dominique is such a special woman and the baby is going to be extremely special.”

NYPD officers Wilbert Mora (left) and Jason Rivera were fatally shot while responding to a call about an argument between a woman and her adult son in the Harlem neighborhood on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. (Courtesy of NYPD via AP)

The shocking announcement came after an emotional Luzuriaga detailed the dark and difficult days following Rivera’s sudden death.

“I lost my husband, my partner, my friend,” she said. “…There are still days that I feel alone. I feel like I’m walking through a dark tunnel.”

Mora, 27, and fellow rookie Rivera, 22, were shot to death a year earlier while responding to a domestic violence call, and were ambushed by an ex-con who lived with his mother in a Harlem apartment.

The murdered Mora gave the gift of life to five strangers with the donation of his heart and four other organs.

Mayor Eric Adams speaks at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Saturday, January 21, 2023.

Mayor Adams and NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell, who spoke at the funerals for both officers last year, returned to St. Patrick’s to remember the heroic police officers at a service where wounds remained open 365 days after.

“Today we honor two fine men, guardians and heroes of our city,” said Adams, a former NYPD officer. “We grieve with you, seeing young people lost at such an age… We know the pain is real. May God be with you and your families as we remember the loss of two heroes.”

Sewell, on the job for just three weeks when the NYPD was rocked by the double tragedy, said the department was continuing to honor the memory of the two slain officers.

“In this sacred space, we honor and remember two vibrant souls…committed to this city,” he said. “Jason and Wilbert are still alive. We carry the batons… of the lives, dreams and legacies of these first grade detectives.”

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell, right, greets the NYPD detective's mother. Wilbert Mora at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Saturday, January 21, 2023.

Luzuriaga created a stir at her husband’s funeral last year by criticizing Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for what critics called his lax approach to prosecuting criminals.

“The system keeps failing us,” he said from the pulpit. “We are no longer safe, not even service members. I know you’re tired of these laws, especially the new DA’s.”

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