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Clues Sought Into Mother's Day Slaying of Single Mom of Two

Single mom of two is found lifeless outside her home in Wilmington one week before Mother's Day.

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One week before Mother's Day 2021, an early Sunday morning on Eubank Avenue in Wilmington, the silent is shattered by multiple gunshots and the sound of a vehicle speeding away.

It was just after 4 a.m., but the lifeless body of 43-year-old Monica Molina wouldn’t be discovered for two more hours.

The single mom of a 14-year-old daughter and 24-year-old son, Molina worked in advertising for the Daily Breeze. LAPD South Bureau Homicide detectives say they can’t fathom the reason behind her death – mistaken identity? Random? They aren’t sure.

It was Molina’s 24-year-old son who called 911.

“I just woke up to my neighbor saying my mom is dead in the driveway right now,” he told the operator over the phone. “We heard shots like at 4:20 in the morning.”

The 911 operator tries to tell the son how to begin CPR but he’s distraught, saying there was no use, that she was already gone.

“It’s heartbreaking, something you never imagine that can happen. Devastating. Not just to us but she left kids, she’s a sister, best friend, a person in the community who everybody loved," says Molina’s sister Marcia Gutierrez. "It’s not just us, it’s the community that’s suffering, too.”

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LAPD Detective Aaron Harrington says detectives don't have much.

"Some cases are just difficult," he said. "The hardest part about this is the lack of surveillance video.”

The early hour of the crime, police say they don’t have any witnesses. But by using ring video cameras up the street and following the sound of gunshots and timing, they were able to key into surveillance video further from the scene, believing the suspect vehicle was an early 2000s model Toyota Tacoma, silver and with four doors. The vehicle is unique in that it appears to have black door handles and a cargo cover on the back. They’re hoping a $50,000 reward will compel someone to come forward with information.

“She was an incredible woman,” her mother Maria Guadalupe Molina said of Monica. “We want justice for her and so we can feel just a little less pain in her loss.”

Gutierrez says it’s a cry for help from the community at a time when it seems too many people are getting away with too much.

“There’s so much violence in this city right now,” she says. “The city needs help.”

Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD South Bureau Homicide at 323-786-5080.

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