Elk Grove detectives are trying to piece together the last moments of a life lost Wednesday at the Terracina Apartments at Laguna Creek.
“My 9-year-old ran in and told me that um his friend’s mom was unconscious at her house,” Trisha Richardson said.
By the time Richardson ran to check on her neighbor Marissa Almanza, she saw crime scene tape going up.
Police say a family member had already called them for help after finding their loved one dead in her own apartment.
That was just before 5 p.m.
About three hours into the investigation there were new developments.
“Detectives have just come from out of the apartment. They’ve determined based on the trauma that the victim sustained we are treating this as a homicide investigation,”‘ Elk Grove Police Officer Chris Trimm said.
“The cops appear to know much more than us,” a family member at the scene said.
That was the only comment offered by Almanza’s family as they huddled just outside the crime scene tape perimeter set up by police.
They did confirm her teenage son and pre-teen daughter were not at home when their mother died.
Officers wouldn’t comment on the state of Almanza’s apartment or what kind of trauma she suffered.
They did reveal that a black Honda accord parked in the Terracina lot would be a key part of their investigation.
DMV records show it’s registered to Marissa Pineda de Almanza.
“I don’t want to feel like this could just happen – because that’s what this feels like. This just happened because we didn’t see this coming,” said Almanza’s friend and neighbor LaLa King.
Friends who shared play dates with Almanza and her kids say she was an active duty member of the Air Force. and they can’t imagine who would have made her a target.
“She was a great mom, always working, just a sweet heart,” said Richardson.