03/09/08 — Woman may have scratched her killer

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Woman may have scratched her killer

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on March 9, 2008 4:03 PM

FREMONT — Silvia Bonitez Morales might have struggled with her killer before she was murdered in her home Monday afternoon, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office investigators said Saturday.

And now, Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders is hoping that piece of information might help lead law enforcement officials to her killer.

A suspect might have cuts or scratches from the encounter, Winders said.

Investigators cannot be sure that the killer would show any signs of being in a fight, he said, but added that investigators are pursuing all angles in the case.

“There is a possibility that the person may have some defensive wounds,” Winders said.

A $3,000 reward has been offered for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer — and is in addition to the money already offered by Crime Stoppers for tips that lead to the solving of a crime.

Mrs. Morales, 28, was found by her daughter at their home on Black Creek Road upon her return home from school. Her son, who is 3, was at home at the time of the murder but is too young to provide investigators with any help.

Her husband was at work a few miles away at the time of her death.

Mrs. Morales’ body was sent to the office of the State Medical Examiner for an autopsy.

Detectives have said that neighbors described the family as quiet and that there had been no indications of previous trouble.

Investigators have not said in which part of the house Mrs. Morales’ body was found but they believe she was killed between 1:15 and 3:30 p.m.

The public’s help is being sought in solving the case. Anyone who might have seen anything or anyone unusual in the vicinity Monday is asked to call Detective Sgt. Tammy Odom at the Sheriff’s Office at 731-1493 or Crime Stoppers at 735-2255. Crime Stoppers callers can remain anonymous.