Local News

Woman faces weapons charge in double homicide probe

Posted January 16, 2013 10:00 a.m. EST
Updated January 23, 2013 3:31 p.m. EST

— Wake County deputies have charged an 18-year-old woman with possession of an assault rifle that investigators believe was used in a double homicide.

Gemby Itzamar Estrada, no address available, was arrested Sunday and charged with possession of a weapon of mass destruction and resisting a public officer. She was being held Tuesday in the Wake County jail under a $10,500 bond.

An arrest warrant states that deputies seized the weapon, a variation of an AK-47, from Estrada's Raleigh apartment so they could determine if it was linked to "a double homicide and shooting."

She also gave "false information" to investigators about her knowledge of the weapon, a second arrest warrant states.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office is investigating the Jan. 5 shooting deaths of Jose Samual Flores Mendoza and his wife, Maria Saravia Mendoza, both 34, at their 708 Colonial Drive home near Garner.

Investigators declined to say whether the Garner case is the double homicide referenced in the warrant, but WRAL News knows of no other similar cases that the sheriff's office is investigating.

"She has nothing to do with it," a girl who identified herself as Estrada's sister said Thursday. "She didn't even know what happened."

The girl said authorities found the gun under a bed in her sister's apartment but that it does not belong to her sister. Estrada lied, she said, because she was scared, the sister said.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office hasn't released many details about the Mendozas' deaths, including a possible motive for the crime or any information about a possible suspect.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has placed a detainer on Estrada – under the name Itzamar Estrada Gembe – while agents try to determine if she is in the country illegally.