Family murder mom taped self doing meth

2012-01-17 10:15

Fresno - A woman who shot her two children, their father and a cousin in California's Central Valley before committing suicide took a video of herself on her iPad as she smoked methamphetamine prior to the killings, police said on Monday.

The apparent murder-suicide by 23-year-old Aide Mendez began on Sunday morning when she argued with the father of her two children, 33-year-old Eduardo Lopez.

Police arrived to find Lopez outside the Silver Lakes Apartment with knife and gunshot wounds, said Mark Salazar, homicide commander for the Fresno Police Department.

They heard a muffled shot from inside the first-floor apartment and discovered Mendez had killed herself, her boyfriend's cousin, Paul Medina, 27, as well as her two children, 17-month-old Aliyah Echeverria and Isaiah Echeverria, 3.

‘Actions seemed bizarre’

The boy was found dead on the scene, Salazar said. Police tried to resuscitate the girl but she later died at the hospital.

"We do know that drugs played a key role, but we don't know to what extent," Salazar said. "She was seen prior to the shooting smoking methamphetamine. She recorded herself on an iPad showing her and Paul Medina smoking meth. We know the power of meth."

Salazar said the time stamp on the iPad video would have to be tested but preliminary information indicated it was recorded within a few hours of the murder.

"Her actions just seemed bizarre; her mannerism, the way she was moving her hands and her facial expressions," Salazar said, noting other drugs may have been involved but that it would take weeks before the toxicology reports were complete.

Lopez remains in critical condition at Community Regional Medical Centre with stab wounds and a gunshot wound to the neck, Salazar said.

A 7-year-old girl who was a family friend was staying overnight in the apartment, but escaped unharmed.

Three firearms found

Authorities said on Monday they had yet to piece together a motive, but said family members reported that Mendez had lost a baby several years ago, and was still grieving over the loss. Police recovered three firearms in the apartment; two of them used.

"There's some things we just don't know because most of the people in that house are dead and the one person who is alive can't speak right now," Salazar said.

Jesus Gonzalez told KFSN-TV, an ABC affiliate in Fresno, that shortly before 07:00 on Sunday he heard gunshots and then a pounding on his door. He opened the door to find Lopez bleeding profusely.

"I opened the door and he fell in front of me, and I take him and I pull him inside [sic]," Gonzalez said. He said that before he could drag Lopez inside, Mendez tried to pull him back outside again.

Gonzalez said he shouted at her, "Hey, what happened, what happened?" and she ran off.

The family lived in the back of the gated apartment complex, which has neat lawns, trees and a children's playground.

Neighbours said there was no indication of violence between the couple before Sunday's shootings.

"They would come out with the baby carriage, and the man was taking care of his children," neighbour Eric Gonzalez said.

  • Godfrey - 2012-01-17 11:10

    More evidence that the war on drugs has been hopelessly lost. Legalise the damn things. Get the criminals out of the business, control and tax drugs like is dome with alcohol and use the income for better education and rehabilitation.

      Sunett - 2012-01-17 11:41

      I'm trying to poke holes in your theory, but I'm battling... not a bad idea. Very sad what happened to this family - people think they are "in control" of their habit, but this shows you how much drugs can alter your mind. All sanity and reason is lost.

      Peter - 2012-01-17 11:42

      The government I think makes too much money from these 'illegal' sales. Cops bust and confiscate, only to release back onto the streets (sorry to generalize - but the fact is, its impossible to find out just how much of the police force is corrupt (national and international). off topic, i wouldn't be surprised if there is indeed a cure for AIDS already...but think of the implications would be to funding of projects etc. Government organisations would lose billions.

      CarlS - 2012-01-17 12:10

      Suggested solution is having GREAT results in Portugal. Not legalized but decriminalized.

      Gary - 2012-01-17 12:48

      Legalise Methj? - I have no words.....

      Godfrey - 2012-01-17 12:59

      @Sunett Here is a good place to start -

      Brenton007 - 2012-01-17 15:20

      @Godfrey and Sunett, these were users and the after effects of drug use. The entire article is exactly why certain drugs cannot be legalised because of the effects it has on innocent people.

  • Jackky - 2012-01-17 13:14

    responsible couple found smoking drugs together n three guns found????....i think we should be happy that an organized crime family has delivered justice to themselves....

      Had - 2012-01-17 16:26

      Yip, I was thinking that the gene pool had been cleaned out a bit.

  • Buti - 2012-01-17 17:22

    Drugs will never be good forever. China has notice this before.

  • Rever - 2012-01-17 22:29

    Now this justifies the chinese for hanging the drug mules who smuggle methamphetamine. If drug mules are not hanged then their drugs will make other people kill themselves. Hang them all , all countries should follow the chinese.

  • gregooh - 2012-01-19 09:55

    Horrible..., sic!!!!

  • taran.fitzgerald - 2012-01-30 11:43


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