Family of woman found dead in Santee never saw it coming

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SANTEE, Calif. – A brother and sister of a woman found dead inside a Santee townhome under suspicious circumstances said Wednesday they never saw this coming and the person who caused her death will "pay for it."

A man called 911 around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday and told dispatchers his roommate, identified by family as 34-year-old Leticia Arroyo-Reyes, was unconscious and had suffered some type of trauma to her upper body, authorities said.

Leticia Arroyo Reyes (Credit: family)

Leticia Arroyo-Reyes (Credit: family)

Finding strength and support in each other, Pricilla and Steven Chavez spoke about their sister, saying she loved to play softball, had a great smile and had the best sense of humor.

"We never saw anything like this coming. She wasn’t supposed to die like this," her sister said. "To the person who did this, you’re going to pay for this."

Deputies and paramedics were sent to the home on Mission Greens Road near Mission Gorge Road  Tuesday night where they found her dead, sheriff's Lt. Kenneth Nelson said.

Investigators shut down Mission Greens Road to canvass the entire block. Deputies interviewed witnesses and obtained a warrant to search the residence, Nelson told reporters at a morning briefing.

Deputies noticed items, including blood, strewn out on the street, on the sidewalk and walkway leading up to the apartment, investigators said.  They also were told by witnesses that there were loud noises -- possible gunshots.

Leticia Arroyo Reyes (Credit: family)

Leticia Arroyo-Reyes (Credit: family)

"We don’t know if the blood on the street is hers or suspect’s or how it got there or where the actual attack took place," a detective said.  "We do have reports that the folks were leaving the area around the time that we thought this might have occurred last night."

"Based on the circumstances surrounding the incident, detectives are investigating the case as a possible homicide,'' he said.

A cause-of-death ruling was on hold pending an autopsy, according to the lieutenant.

Those wishing to donate funds for the funeral can do so through a GoFundMe campaign set up in Arroyo-Reyes' memory.

Anyone with information on the case was asked to call the sheriff's department at 858-974-2321 or after business hours at 858-565-5200. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.