Calif. Mom Found Dead at Home When Husband and Daughters Return from Vacation, Police Suspect Homicide

Police believe Virginia Cantero was dead for several days before she was found

Gina Cantero
Virginia Cantero. Photo: Facebook

Los Angeles police are investigating the murder of a mother of three who was found dead in her home by her family.

Police were called to the Sylmar home of 36-year-old Virginia "Gina" Cantero Tuesday night after her husband and three teenaged children, who had been away for a holiday weekend in Mexico, found her dead inside.

"Her family had been out of town, they returned home Tuesday night and they discovered her," LAPD detective Christine Moselle tells PEOPLE. "She had been deceased for an unknown amount of time but definitely several days."

Her brother Sean Soto told NBC4 that he believes she was probably killed shortly after her family left on Friday.

"I called her the last few days … no response," he said.

Police don't believe she was the victim of a break-in or burglary gone bad.

"There is no evidence of forced entry," says Moselle.

Moselle says they are still waiting on her cause of death.

No arrests have been made.

"We are still developing a suspect but we have a person of interest," she says.

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Cantero's car was missing but it was recovered in LAPD's northeast division, miles away from her home.

Soto described Cantero as a dedicated mother who "loved her kids, would give her shirt off her back for anybody," NBC4 reports.

Longtime friend Estashia McGinnis told NBC4 that Cantero helped her when she was going through a rough patch.

"She fed me, she clothed me," said McGinnis. "Never charged me nothing. When she cooked, she made sure I had a plate, too."

Anyone with information about her death is asked to contact the Los Angeles Police Department, Valley Bureau Homicide, at 818-374-9550. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).

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