Family of murdered teen seeks answers

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SAN DIEGO – The sister of Anna Hernandez, a 14-year-old girl found shot to death last week, spoke to FOX 5 Wednesday about her family's frustrations with how they felt police were slow to react to their cries for help.

Anna was found dead in an open area off the 2900 block of Market Street in Grant Hill on Nov. 18, according to San Diego police. An autopsy determined that she died from at least one gunshot wound to her upper body, Lt. Mike Hastings said. The teen had gone missing five days before her body was found.

Sources close to the investigation confirmed Wednesday that Anna was sexually assaulted on Sept. 21 in Mountain View. Two male juveniles were taken into custody for the alleged violent attack.

According to Anna’s family members, there were more people involved in the assault. Her family says they knew something was wrong when Anna disappeared Nov. 13 and feel baffled as to why police never responded to their missing person crisis.

Anna’s sister, Miriam Yocupicio, said she received a distress call from Anna the day she went missing, but was unable to convince police she was in danger and needed to be found.

“I called the police…Nobody came to the house,” she said.

She said she felt helpless when investigators told her, “they couldn’t do anything because they’re considering it a runaway.”

Yocupicio says she feels numb, but her community keeps her family going.

“I just want to thank everybody that’s been here supporting my family, gathering funds for the funeral,” she said.

The family continues to plead for information about exactly what happened.

Authorities have not announced any arrests in the case or released suspect information.

One of Anna's friends, 12-year-old Nelly Espinoza, ran away the same day. It was unclear if the two left their respective homes together.

Anna Hernandez, Nelly Espinosa

Anna Hernandez, Nelly Espinosa

"We received information Nelly called a family member and said she was fine and if anyone tried to look for her she would flee deeper into Mexico," said Lt. Mike Hastings, San Diego Police homicide unit. "As part of our investigation, we will determine whether there is correlation between Nelly running away and Anna’s death."

Police also released a picture of 16-year-old Janeth Mendoza, another teen who was reported missing since October 28.  She was last seen near the 3000 block of Webster Street.  Mendoza is 5-feet, 5-inches tall, 160 pounds, has black hair and brown eyes. Police said she has a Charger bolt tattoo on her neck and "Bella" on her right forearm and "Perla" on her left.

Janeth Mendoza (SDPD)

Janeth Mendoza (SDPD)

Police asked anyone with information on Espinoza's or Mendoza's whereabouts to call Officer Jose Mendoza at 619-744-9518.

Grieving relatives and friends of the slain teenager held a vigil in her memory Tuesday night at a church a few blocks from the canyon where her body was discovered, wrapped in a blanket.

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6 comments

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  • Iggy Sanchez

    The family has questions? Oh, really? Well, I have some questions for the family:

    Why did you allow young girls to dress like gang members, hang out with gang members and stay out all night?

    That is NOT normal behavior and directly contributed to her death.

    The family that allowed such behavior is responsible for what happened.

    • yes I said it

      Yes!!! Thank you, I thought I was the only one who thought this way… the 12 who ran away and was found also looks like she is over 20 years old… her mother thinks it’s okay to let her 12 year old wear makeup and dress like a prostitute…. what is wrong with these kids??? I don’t recall behaving like this when I was 12! I was still playing with barbies. #badparenting

  • Tough Love

    Sad to say, but yes the family/Parents bear a large responsibility for this horrible tragedy. A responsible, concerned parent will recognize the dangers out there in the streets and with poor choices of freinds, that they’ll be loving yet firm in their resolve to protect their children. I live in a near by area and I as a Dad along with their mother wouldn’t dream of allowing our daughters to roam freely and ‘hang out’ with who knows who. There are so many predators and bad associations out there.

  • it ain't right!!!! -turko

    It’s kinda weird that san diego police department makes it sound like they have a policy on runaways…they shouldve done more….but it’s seems protocol is more important …time for a change on that poilcy…

  • Gabriel

    Hi my sympathy to the yocupicio family. I know Miriam and would really like to get in touch with her can someone provide any 411 for me please I would really apriciate it.

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