A story for every victim

Maria Valenzuela, 82

Maria Valenzuela, an 82-year-old Latina, died on Thursday, March 30, after she was stabbed in the 37000 block of Springfield Street in Palmdale, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records. 

Deputies were called to Valenzuela’s home about 3:30 p.m. regarding an assault that had just occurred, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Troy Ewing. 

En route, the deputies saw a man walking down the street, covered in blood, Ewing said. The deputies detained the man, who said he had been involved in the incident they were investigating, Ewing said. 

The man, later identified as Richard Flores, 29, was Valenzuela’s grandson, Ewing said. 

When investigators got to the house, they found Valenzuela and her daughter, Flores’ mother, with multiple stab wounds. 

Valenzuela was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:40 p.m., according to coroner’s records. The cause of death was listed as multiple sharp force injuries to her face and neck. 

Her daughter was taken to the hospital and survived her injuries, Ewing said. 

Flores had been living with his grandmother, and his mother was visiting that afternoon “when an argument broke out over family problems,” Ewing said. 

Investigators believe Flores has a history of mental illness, Ewing said, He stabbed his grandmother and then attacked his mother when she tried to intervene, Ewing said. 

Flores was arrested on suspicion of murder and booked into jail in lieu of $2 million bail. He was charged with murder and attempted murder on April 3, and is scheduled to be arraigned  April 26 in the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center, according to court records. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.  

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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