About Us

In Memory of Gail Leland

In Memory of Gail Leland

Founder

After Gail Leland’s 14-year-old son, Richard, was murdered in 1981, she recognized the need for support for parents of murdered children. She founded the charter chapter of Parents of Murdered Children (POMC) in Tucson, Arizona, on February 19, 1982, which later became Homicide Survivors, Inc. Read more about Gail’s story here.

Meet The Team

James Gierke

James Gierke

Executive Director

In 1999,  James began his career in social work and worked with different victim service agencies in Tucson, Az. James is honored to work with an organization dedicated to advocacy, support, and assistance to family and friends who have lost a loved one to murder.

 Dennisse Ley

Dennisse Ley

Operations Manager/Victim Advocate

Born in Mexico to two parents that always encouraged her to help others, Dennisse became involved in community & social justice groups at a young age. Dennisse feels honored to work for HSI & hopes to grow & formalize our program to better serve families & friends of murder victims.

Sylvia Alvarez

Sylvia Alvarez

Victim Advocate

In 2015, Sylvia turned to HSI for emotional support after her son, Michael, was killed in a drunk driving crash on Valentine’s day. In September of 2017 she joined HSI as a Victim Advocate & finds helping survivors rewarding & comforting, as well as healing for her during her ongoing grief.

Sue Dupee

Sue Dupee

Cochise County Advocate

Sue unwillingly joined Homicide Survivors when her daughter, Stephanie, was murdered in 1995. Since then her life mission has focused on both volunteering and working for Homicide Survivors as well as volunteering with numerous other victim related organizations.

Alexandra Gastelum

Alexandra Gastelum

Development Associate

Alexandra Gastelum is a nationally credentialed Comprehensive Victim Intervention Specialist. She is also a certified yoga instructor (RYT 200) and leads trauma-informed yoga sessions along with supporting survivors through the criminal justice process.

Amy Gomez

Amy Gomez

Victim Advocate

Prior to joining Homicide Survivors in 2018, Amy Gomez spent most of her career working as an advocate for victims of domestic abuse. Amy’s primary focus at Homicide Surviors is supporting families and friends of homicide victims through the criminal justice process.

Brad Holland

Brad Holland

Victim's Counsel

At a young age Brad grew a passion for music, at one point he moved to Hollywood to become a star. However, he moved back to Tucson where he pursued his law degree to make an impact in his community. Today, he is pleased to act as Victim’s Counsel with Homicide Survivors and help in any way he can.

Paloma Sainz

Paloma Sainz

Victim Advocate

As a young child Paloma saw the hardships, pain, & injustices that occur to individuals regarding things they have no control over; such as race, gender & religious associations. Wanting to change this, Paloma did everything she could to become a voice for the voiceless. It is now an honor & a privilege to work with Survivors.

Meet the board of directors