Saturday, April 30, 2022

The Murder of Esperanza Vicente Mestizo

 

Esperanza Vicente-Mestizo was only 28 years-old when she was killed in front of her home in Mattawa, Washington on February 11th, 2012. The young mother was unloading groceries from her minivan around 11:00 PM when a man in a black hoodie and sweatpants approached and began shooting. Esperanza, who was just weeks away from giving birth to her fourth child, was struck several times in the torso. 

A neighbor ran outside after hearing the gunfire and saw Esperanza lying on the ground. The neighbor also reported hearing Esperanza's daughter calling out for her father, shouting "dad, dad, my mom was shot!" By this point, the shooter had fled on foot and was nowhere to be found when authorities and paramedics arrived. Esperanza was transported to a hospital in Othello, but unfortunately both she and her unborn child died shortly thereafter.

During the early stages of the investigation, detectives stated they were unsure about a motive for Esperanza's murder. Esperanza's common law husband was inside their home with their children at the time of her murder, and he is not considered a suspect. Grand County Chief Deputy Ryan Rectenwald said that detectives were "certain this was not a domestic violence situation." However, Rectenwald also said that they were unsure if incident was gang-related, and they also could not be certain that the shooting was not random.

Friends and neighbors of Esperanza are also baffled by her murder. Those who knew her maintain that she did not have any enemies. Esperanza's friend Lola Cruz reporters that she believed Esperanza's murder was premeditated. Lola and Esperanza had been friends for 15 years before Esperanza's death. Lola described her late friend as "a quiet mother who was not involved in crime." Esperanza's neighbors agreed that Esperanza and her family were not known to have any issues with anyone.

Over a decade has passed since Esperanza's murder, and her case still remains unsolved. Very little news has been reported on the case since 2012. No suspects or persons of interest have ever been publicly announced. 

Anyone with information that could help solve Esperanza's case is asked to contact Grant County Sheriff’s Office at 509-762-1160.
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