A family returning from a vacation made a horrifying discovery on Tuesday night: a family member killed in their own home.
LAPD believe Virginia Cantero, 36, was murdered shortly after her husband and three teenage children left for a long holiday weekend in Mexico. The victim, who is estranged from her husband, did not go on the trip with them.
"Her family had been out of town, they returned home Tuesday night and they discovered her," LAPD Detective Christine Moselle told People. "She had been deceased for an unknown amount of time but definitely several days."
Investigators do not believe she was the victim of a break-in or burglary gone bad. "There is no evidence of forced entry," Detective Moselle told NBC 4. Authories did not say how she died, but described her as the "victim of a violent homicide."
Cantero's car was also missing from the Lyle Street home, but was later recovered by police.
Investigators have not yet named a suspect; however the victim's brother Sean Soto suspects a male friend she had made in recent months whom he did not trust. Soto claimed he had been trying to get in touch with his sister on the phone for a few days beforehand, but got no response.
When he went around to the house on Friday, there was nobody there... except the male friend. "He fooled us," he told the outlet. Detective Moselle said police are aware of the information and are following up leads.
"We are still developing a suspect but we have a person of interest," she said.
Longtime friend Estashia McGinnis said Cantero had already been going through a rough year, losing both her mother and grandmother, having already buried a brother. "She endured a lot of losses, and she overcame it, too. She was still working," McGinnis said.
Despite her own hardships, she was always there for her friends.
"She fed me, she clothed me" McGinnis said. "Never charged me nothing. When she cooked, she made sure I had a plate, too."