Mother murdered, toddler unharmed

March 3, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
Authorities in Wayne County are searching for the killer of a 28-year-old mother of two who was gunned down inside her home Monday, while her toddler was in the house.

The Wayne County Sheriff's office says Silvia Bonitez Morales of 1273 Black Creek Road in Fremont was shot sometime between 1:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. Monday afternoon. Authorities say her 7-year-old daughter arrived home from school, where she was greeted by her 3-year-old brother.

"When she came home from school, the little boy made a comment to her, 'Mama fall'," said Capt. Tom Effler of the Wayne County Sheriff's Office. The daughter then went into the front bedroom where she found her mother, Effler said.

Morales's husband, Javier, works directly across the street from the family home at a hog farm. Authorities say he was at work at the time of the shooting, and they say he arrived home shortly after his daughter and called police.

"The family is 100 percent cooperative with us, the husband has been 100 percent cooperative," Effler said.

Investigators followed several leads throughout the afternoon Tuesday but had not made any arrests as of early evening.

They say they aren't sure of a motive, but they don't think the murder was a botched robbery attempt. Valuables and cash were found at the home. Investigators say they don't know if the killer knew the family.

A neighbor told Eyewitness News that the family was very close-knit and could often be seen playing together in the front yard on weekends.

"Everything we've found out at this point is they're very good people," Effler said.


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