Elena Jasmir Lozada was born November 26, 1985 to Carrie Cronkite and Luis Gilberto Lozada, Sr. of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. Elena was a gift from God to her mother Carrie, who praised God in the delivery room for giving her a beautiful little girl. Elena was a baby with the cutest, biggest, kissable cheeks. Everyone who knew her from infancy loved them and would often comment about them.
As a child, Elena liked to dance and play in the living room with her sister Bethany, brothers Keith, Luis and Christopher along with cousin, Felicia, who was like a sister. They had so much fun together and the memories will live on in their hearts. Countless hours were also spent having fun with other cousins, aunts and an uncle at family picnics, birthday parties and other family gatherings.
Elena’s had a very special friend in New York who became her best friend, named Natalie. Natalie and Elena started playing together during their toddler years. Though time and distance separated Elena and Natalie, they never lost touched with each other; they were just like sisters. Natalie’s parents and siblings all loved Elena and her family and they will always be a special blessing to them.
As children, Elena, her three brothers and sister were a five-some, always together, playing and fighting at times as kids do. Elena considered her oldest brother Keith as their protector, especially after her parents divorced. Keith responsibly watched over Elena and the rest of his younger siblings with such dedication, even though he was very young himself. Elena was always very proud of her big brother Keith and loved him very much.
From the very beginning, Elena was a child with an independent spirit, displaying a personality of one well beyond her years. Elena received most of her elementary education at PS 151 and Jackson Heights Seventh-day Adventist schools in Queens, New York. The remainder of her elementary education was completed at Pine Street School in Presque Isle. Middle School years were spent at Presque Isle Middle School, previously known as Skyway Middle School.
When Elena and her family moved to Maine, they moved right across from Pat and Dave Cyr, who took her whole family under their wing and loved them. Elena loved Pat and Dave; they were just like another Mom and Dad to Elena. Their daughter Sarah and Elena hit it off and became friends for life. Elena was so proud to be a bridesmaid in Sarah and Leroy’s wedding along with other friends from their youth group.
Elena excelled academically in middle school and was on the honor roll. She was an active member of the track team and could run as fast as the wind. Elena was on the cheerleading team and enjoyed cheering at games and competitions. She also played clarinet in the band and participated in chorus. During middle school years Elena met another friend named Heather, they became good friends and had many adventures together.
Family Christian Center was a very important part of Elena’s young life. She was an active member of the youth group, enjoying many activities and trips organized by Dean and Mary Lawrence, whom she dearly loved. Dean and Mary were very important to Elena and were like an aunt and uncle to Elena and her siblings, selflessly helping them anyway they could.
Elena accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal savior and was baptized at the age of 10. She was excited about serving Jesus and wrote “Jesus is my savior. Speak out and tell others about Him. Tell others how kind the Lord is,” in her Bible as a young girl.
Elena made friends with a very nice girl named Lisa at Family Christian Center. Elena adored Lisa; they would sit together during service and write notes in her Bible. Elena often commented about Lisa over the years; she was happy for having the opportunity to be Lisa’s friend.
Elena was a young woman with an electric smile and a contagious laughter. Her beautiful smile would light up a room, making everyone feel warm and welcome. She was a very giving person and has helped many in need. She had a heart of gold and was the type of person that would give her last dollar to anyone in need. Elena was an artist, she loved to oil paint colorful vibrant pictures and she had a passion for writing. Elena will be missed by many.
During high school, Elena started showing signs of depression and began to change. Her mother took her to several mental health providers who treated her for depression. Mom always felt there was something more than depression going on with her daughter since she did not respond well to therapy, but that fact was not recognized and Elena continued to be treated for depression.
Elena started using street drugs at the age of 16 and began to make poor lifestyle choices. Elena was admitted to Acadia hospital when she was 17 years old and then to Day One Rehab in Gorham, Maine. While at Day One, Elena met her dear friend Mia. Over the years, Mia and Elena became just like sisters. Mia opened her home to Elena and allowed Elena to stay with her many times. Elena frequently spoke about Mia and Mia’s daughter Dani– girl to her mother. Mia will always remember the good times they had together, Elena loved Mia and Dani-girl very much.
When Elena was 18, she left Day One to live on her own in Portland. Even though Elena chose to stay in Portland, she kept in close contact with her family. She frequently called her mommy, sometimes twice a day, and came home for most holidays. At Christmas time Elena always had a present for everyone. Elena frequently sent her mother cards and beautifully written, long lengthy letters throughout the years which her mother kept and will always cherish. When home, Elena would like have fun having her hair done by her mother or her sister Bethany and she’d loved to dig in Mom’s makeup box to find goodies. She also loved swapping makeup with sister Bethany and doing beauty treatments with her and Mom.
Elena and mommy had a very special and spiritual mother-daughter bond, which Elena often commented about. For instance, Elena could frequently tell when her mother wasn’t feeling well and would call her at just the right time, and often her mother would call Elena at those times when Elena most needed to hear her voice. Elena frequently promised that she was going to get her life together, but was never able to break the strong addictions that dominated her life. Even though she lost her way in life, Elena still loved the Lord and would often speak of the Him in letters and cards written to her mother.
In most of the letters and cards she thanked her mother for teaching her about the love of God at a young age, about having faith and how everyday is a new opportunity to start over. Elena wrote about the Lord and the beauty of Heaven in many of the cards and letters, her heart was always with the Lord. Mom’s piano is covered with the cards and letters Elena sent her.
Randy Cronkite became Elena’s father when he and Carrie married in June of 2004. Elena was a beautiful maid-of-honor at their wedding. She soon learned to love Randy over the years and would give him special gifts which he will always cherish. Randy says that he will always remember how Elena would say “I love you,” when saying goodbye to him over the phone and he would then respond by saying “I love you more.”
While in Portland, Elena lived in an apartment building that was managed by a man name Richard. Richard looked over Elena as a father would. His girlfriend Jackie also took Elena under her wing. Elena would frequently tell her mother about Richard and Jackie and how they watched over her and helped her many times. Richard recently told her mother how much they miss Elena knocking on their door, wanting to make spaghetti dinners with them. Elena loved Richard, Jackie and their grandchildren Brett and Brooklyn very much.
Over the years, Elena began to decline as she struggled with drug addiction. In 2009, she moved back home which made her mother and family very happy. Elena was determined that she was going to get her life together and start over. While Elena was home, she received medical care and participated in outpatient rehab. But unfortunately, Elena left one day and returned back to Portland. When back in Portland, she called her mother and apologized, saying that she just couldn’t do it.
Over the years Elena would frequently apologize for her life choices and for not being a better role model for her siblings. Elena was so proud of her brothers and sisters and loved them very much. Elena would tell her mother, one day when she is clean and free of drugs that she is going to open up a drug rehabilitation center and call it “Lena’s House”, serving young teenage girls who are addicted to drugs. Many believe that would have become a reality had her life not ended so shortly.
At the end of June in 2010, Elena admitted herself to Mercy Hospital for drug rehabilitation. She called her mother and told her that she was “really going to do it this time. Get off the drugs and get her life together.” Mom was so happy at the news and jumped up and down in the kitchen. Elena was supposed to go to Cross Roads rehab when discharged from Mercy Hospital but she never went. Elena relapsed and started using drugs again.
Elena called her mother on July 6th and let her know that she was going to go to Boston which was much against her mother’s advice. That was the last time Elena spoke to Mommy. Soon after Elena was reported missing to the Portland police department by her mother. Elena’s remains were found Sunday, April 17, 2011.