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Ashtabula: Community mourns murdered mother and daughter

10:37 PM, Oct 8, 2012   |    comments
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ASHTABULA-- Friends and family of Hilda Garcia and Amparo Torres gathered Monday evening to pray for the two women, who were found murdered earlier Monday morning.

"They were so nice. So sweet," said a friend.

Garcia, 20, and Torres, 40, were discovered inside their home by family members around 2 a.m.

Unable to reach the two women over the weekend, relatives called police to perform a welfare check. When officers got to the Kain Avenue house Sunday night, they discovered nothing suspicious, and did not go inside.

Not willing to wait any longer, family members entered the home a few hours later, and discovered Torres' husband in the living room.

The two women were found in the bedrooms.  Police say Torres had been shot, and Garcia had been beaten to death.

Torres' husband, identified by friends as Gilberto Torres, was taken into custody.

"He was non-responsive. He may have been asleep. We transported him to the hospital, and he was looked at. He's now in our custody," said Chief Robert Stell.

According to Ashtabula County Court records, 33-year-old Gilberto Torres has a long history with the law, including drug trafficking charges in 2009. 

Earlier this summer, Police Chief Robert Stell says the suspect set his garage on fire. 

But Chief Stell says, while the suspect was on the radar, police never received a call from his family regarding domestic abuse.

"You know really know for sure who people are? He mowed our grass on Friday and we haven't seen him since," said Bonnie Diggs, who lives next door to the home.

Friends of the victims say Hilda Garcia and her mother Amparo "Patti" Torres were kind people.  Garcia was going to college, and making plans for her future.

"We really loved her. We just don't believe this happened. We're going to miss her so much," said Diana Palomino.

Police say the suspect in custody could be arraigned as early as Tuesday morning.


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