Angelis Molina
Michelle Molina

Angelis Molina is in a medically-induced coma, her mother tells PEOPLE

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February 07, 2019 11:24 AM

After a painful breakup, Angelis Molina spent the holidays nursing a broken heart. To get over her relationship, she told her mother she wanted to take a vacation to Puerto Rico, where she planned to celebrate her 20th birthday.

Her mother Michelle Molina, a former bounty hunter, was apprehensive because she knows how dangerous it can be for a young woman to travel. But Michelle’s worries were calmed by the fact that Angelis planned to go with a friend, so she looked forward to her daughter returning with a smile on her face.

“She was having the time of her life,” her mother tells PEOPLE about the phone calls she would receive from her daughter. “These kids are so optimistic. They don’t know all the dangers that are out there.”

Michelle and her daughter kept in touch regularly, but on Jan. 31, Angelis’ phone was turned off. The following day, her phone was still off.

Michelle began to panic and called one of her friends, who had heard the tragic news: Her daughter had been shot in the face and taken to the hospital. Angelis is alive but she is in a medically-induced coma.

The details are sketchy, Michelle says. Law enforcement continue to investigate the case while her husband, who flew from their Absecon, New Jersey, home to Puerto Rico, remains at their daughter’s bedside inside the intensive care unit.

Michelle is trying to piece together what happened the night her daughter was shot. PEOPLE’s attempt to reach the Puerto Rico Police in San Juan was unsuccessful.

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A week earlier, Michelle says her daughter called to say she was extending her vacation because she was enjoying herself and wanted to explore for a few more months. She had landed a modeling job at a local boutique, she was pursuing a job as a waitress at a popular bar and she had started hanging out with some new friends.

But Michelle didn’t know her daughter’s new friends, and began to worry. What happened the night she was shot in the face remains unclear, but Michelle can’t believe why anyone would want to hurt her.

“I’m in a trance,” Michelle said while crying. “I want somebody brought to justice. I want my baby to get better and to come home to me.”

For now, Michelle says Angelis’ friends from Holy Spirit High School in Absecon have created at GoFundMe page to help with travel and medical expenses. It’s one less thing to worry about while she waits for answers.

“[My daughter] is so genuine. She wants to see the good in everyone,” Michelle says. “It’s incredible the way she is so loved. It’s overwhelming.”

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