LESTER, Ala. (AP) — Two women from New York have been identified as the victims of a stabbing in northern Alabama, officials said.
Rosa Lee Maldonado, 19, and her mother, Rosa Aminta Maldonado, 44, of the Lester community, were identified as the victims by the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office.
A 15-year-old family member with self-inflicted stab wounds was in stable condition in a hospital in Huntsville. Stephen Young, the public information officer for the sheriff’s office, said the teenager remained “under watch” Thursday at the hospital.
“We won’t levy any official charges until after we talk to her and she’s released from the hospital,” he said.
Deputies were called around 1 a.m. Wednesday and found the women dead and said the younger teen was stabbing herself in the head and neck in an apparent suicide attempt as authorities arrived, Young said. Her name has not been released.
“You’ve got two individuals in the process of being murdered, screaming, asking for help and asking the assailant to please stop,” Sheriff Mike Blakely said, calling it “one of the worst calls” he’s listened to in his 47 years in law enforcement.
Blakely said investigators are anxious to talk with the younger teen.
“We’ll be talking to some people in the school where she attended,” he said. “We will be talking with some other family members who live in this area.”
Investigators have not determined a motive, Blakely said.
News outlets reported the family had moved to Alabama from Albion, New York. Rosa Lee Maldonado graduated from Charles D’Amico High School, also known as Albion High School, in 2017. The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reports Albion Central School District Superintendent Michael S. Bonnewell said the district has made grief counselors available after learning of the incident.
“We have a full complement of folks available, counselors and psychologists for both our kids and staff who have a need,” he said. “Many of our teachers had both of the children in their classes.”
He said Rosa Lee was a good student who teachers remember as being polite and pleasant.
“She had a great smile, just beautiful,” he said. “One of the recollections I heard most often about her was about her support and care for her friends. One teacher commented to the effect that when you were her friend, you were well cared for, and I think that’s one of the greatest losses of this, the world needs people like that.”
Tragedy seemingly followed the Moldanado family to Alabama.
In January 2011, Rosa Aminta Moldanado’s daughter, then 15-year-old Katherine Sanchez, was raped and killed by her brother-in-law, Carlos Cardenas, 21, of Albion.
Cardenas, at the time a Mexican national living illegally in the United States, buried the girl in an apple orchard where he worked in Ridgeway, New York. He was married to Moldanado’s older daughter, Kimberly Cardenas.
Carlos Cardenas is currently serving a sentence of 25 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in connection with Katherine’s death. He faces possible deportation proceedings when his sentence is complete.