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In fatal Denver shooting, police and family search for clues

February 07, 2013|By Marisa Gerber
  • Members of a community church gather in a prayer circle a block from where a woman and two children were found dead and a third child wounded in Denver.
Members of a community church gather in a prayer circle a block from where… (Ed Andrieski / Associated…)

A day after police found a woman and two young children fatally shot and another child seriously injured at a home in northeast Denver, officials and family members worked Thursday to piece together what happened inside the now bloody home.

Although police haven't released information about the victims, the Denver Post said relatives identified the dead as 22-year-old Mayra Perez; her daughter, Nevaeh Morales, 6; and her son, Erick Perez, 2.

Liliana Castro, Perez's sister, told the Post that she spoke with her brother-in-law, who said he found the bodies when he got home Wednesday morning.

"He just told me he needed to tell me something, but he didn't know how to say it," Castro said. "I asked him, 'What happened?' He's like, 'I don't know, I don't know.' He couldn't talk. He just hung up."

Another one of the victims' family members told the Post that Mayra Perez and her husband had marital problems in the past, but Denver police Cmdr. Ronald Saunier said there is no immediate evidence that authorities in the past had responded to the house for domestic-violence calls.  

Saunier, citing the ongoing investigation, released few new details at a news briefing Wednesday evening, but said the third child, who was transported from the scene and underwent surgery, was still in “extremely critical condition.”

Saunier declined to comment on if the incident was a murder-suicide, but he echoed earlier police statements that the public isn't in imminent danger.

“We’re not actively out there looking for anybody,” Saunier said, adding that no arrests have been made.

Saunier urged neighbors -- or anyone else with information about the case -- to step forward.

“We have some questions that we still need to answer,” he said. “Anytime you have kids involved, it’s a horrific event, so I mean it plays on the heartstrings of everybody that’s involved.”

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marisa.gerber@latimes.com


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