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Neighbors Mourn Victim of Rare Bear Attack

Wildlife: The woman, 93, was the first New Mexican killed by such an animal, but because of increased recent sightings, some fear she won't be the last.

September 09, 2001|DEBORAH BAKER | ASSOCIATED PRESS

The body was in the kitchen, which was adjacent to her bedroom, according to a Mora County Sheriff's Department report. The bear apparently had been on the porch, broke a pane of glass in a door that led to the kitchen, then entered the house, said Sheriff John Sanchez.

Trujillo heated her home with wood and grew and canned some of her own food.

"She had the means to get updated things and she didn't want it. She wanted to stay as simple as possible," said Ortega, her grandson.

Trujillo, who was widowed in 1989, worked for 15 years in the local elementary schools' "foster grandparent" program, helping teachers in the classroom. The kids called her "Grandma."

She enjoyed stopping after Mass at El Nicho en Mora, where she and friends sat in the orange-and-turquoise booth by the front window, and she frequented the Mora Senior Citizens Center--she was there two days before her death--where she was remembered as pleasant, reserved and deeply religious.

"She was always saying, 'May God bless you, may God take care of you,' " said the center's manager, Lorraine Vigil.

Trujillo often was joined at the center by Ermelina Romero, the sister of her late husband Alfredo. Sitting at the kitchen table of her home in Mora, where she spends hours playing solitaire and doing word puzzles, the 98-year-old Romero buried her face in her hands.

"When I awake at night, I just see her," Romero said.

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