4 Women Arrested After Arizona Mom Found Dead

Suspects charged with kidnapping Melissa Valenzuela, a mother of 3
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2020 11:31 AM CDT
4 Women Arrested After Arizona Mom Found Dead
Melissa Valenzuela   (Mesa Police Department)

Four women have been arrested in Arizona after a woman turned up dead days after she was observed screaming for help. Melissa Valenzuela was reported missing on March 20, three days after family members recalled seeing the 34-year-old mother of three in the company of Mercedes Gomez and Christina Gomez, reports NBC News. Those two are now charged with felony kidnapping along with Nadine Chavez and Melissa Servin as the investigation continues. All four suspects, ranging in age from 32 to 42, were seen arguing with a woman matching Valenzuela's description on March 17, police tell KPNX. One witness said the woman was screaming for someone to call 911 as she was pushed or dragged into a home in Phoenix owned by Chavez.

Chavez's own brother told police that his sister implied Valenzuela was killed in the home, reports the Arizona Republic. He reported seeing blood and missing floor tile in a bathroom of the home on March 17 and March 18, when he claimed Mercedes Gomez gave him Valenzuela's debit card and PIN, according to court documents. The documents allege Mercedes and Christina Gomez removed Valenzuela's body from the home while Chavez and Servin cleaned. Valenzuela's body was found March 23, though police haven't said where. Blood was subsequently found in Chavez's bathroom during a warrant search on April 24, police say. Valenzuela's family members believe they know the motive for the killing but haven't discussed it publicly, per Oxygen. (More murder stories.)

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