Esperanza Vicente-Mestizo was a 28-year-old pregnant woman who was murdered in Mattawa, Washington, more than 10 years ago, and the person responsible for her death has yet to be brought to justice.
At around 11 p.m. on Feb. 11, 2012, Vicente-Mestizo returned to her home at the Vineyard Apartments, located in the 500 block of Third Place, and began unloading groceries from her minivan.
Her husband remained inside with their children.
Moments later, a man clad in a black hooded sweatshirt approached her and opened fire, striking her several times before fleeing the scene, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.
Vicente-Mestizo, a mother of three children under the age of 12, was transported to a hospital in Othello, where she and her unborn baby boy were pronounced dead.
She was seven and a half months pregnant at the time.
Her body was transported to the Grant County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy, which confirmed she had died from gunshot wounds to the torso.
A witness told police officials that he was inside his home when he heard shots ring out. He ran outside, and he saw the victim lying motionless on the ground.
He added, “I saw her daughter, and she was saying [SIC] ‘dad, dad, my mom was shoot.”
Investigators said they were unsure if the incident was gang-related, but they were certain that it was not a domestic violence situation.
Chief Deputy Ryan Rectenwald with the Grant County Sheriff’s Office stated that he couldn’t be certain that the fatal shooting was not random.
“It’s very, very disturbing to us,” said Rectenwald.
A woman who had known the victim for 15 years told KIMA TV that she was a “quiet mother who wasn’t involved in crime.” She went on to say that “personally, I think it was planned.”
In 2012, a reporter with KIMA TV asked Rectenwald the following: “Do you guys have any leads, any information, or any description of any single person that the public should be looking out for?”
He responded, “Nothing specific. Our detectives are working very hard, working around the clock, to make sure this is a successful investigation.”
Police officials stated that they are now “asking the public to come forward with whatever information they have, however small the details are.”
Anyone with information regarding the unsolved murder of Esperanza Vicente-Mestizo is encouraged to contact the Grant County Sheriff’s Office at (509) 762-1160 or send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.