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The body of Virginia "Gina" Cantero, 36, was discovered on Tuesday night inside her Los Angeles home by her estranged husband and their three teenage children, when they returned from a vacation, Detective Christine Moselle of the LAPD Valley Homicide Bureau told People.
"She had been deceased for an unknown amount of time but definitely several days,” she said.
Cantero’s husband and their children had spent the holiday weekend in Mexico. Her brother Sean Soto told local outlet KNBC he believes she was killed shortly after the Mexico trip began.
It’s not yet clear how she was murdered but the LAPD said in a press release, provided to Oxygen.com, that she "was the victim of a violent homicide."
"I called her the last few days … no response," Soto said.
He said he visited his sibling after her husband and kids left town. A new male friend, whom she’s known for a few months, was with her. Soto appears to suspect him, telling KNBC, "He fooled us, we thought he could be a really trusted person." He added that the friend was someone his sister trusted and loved.
No suspect or person of interest has been named. The LAPD said they are following up on leads.
"Detectives are investigating and believe there were witnesses to the incident and are seeking information," police said in their press release.
There was no evidence of forced entry at the home. Cantero’s car was reported missing and it has since been located a few miles from her home, according to People.
Soto told KNBC that Cantero "loved her kids” and “would give her shirt off her back for anybody.”
In the past year, she lost her mother, grandmother and one of her brothers.
"She endured a lot of losses, and she overcame it, too," her longtime friend Estashia McGinnis told KNBC.
She described Cantero as a generous person who helped her out when she was going through a rough time.
"She fed me, she clothed me," she said. "Never charged me nothing. When she cooked, she made sure I had a plate, too."
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Los Angeles Police Department, Valley Bureau Homicide, at 818-374-9550. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).
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