A San Diego-area woman accused of killing her 79-year-old mother and dumping her body underneath a tree in a remote location in Ramona last year has been ordered to stand trial for the murder.
Mansury was last seen alive by other family members on Sept. 23, 2013.
When she wasn’t heard from a couple days later, concerned family members visited Mansury’s home on Amulet Street and could not find her. The house was also a mess, family members said.
The family called deputies to report that Mansury was missing and an extensive search for the woman began throughout San Diego County.
For her part, Ghazal told family members and police she personally last saw her mother on the morning of Sept. 24, 2013, at the Serra Mesa home. She said Mansury had gone for a walk but never returned. However, she did not report her mother missing that day.
For nine days, dozens of law enforcement officers from multiple agencies searched for Mansury. All along, detectives considered Ghazal a person of interest and said Mansury was considered a "missing person at-risk."
On Oct. 2, 2013, investigators got a major break in the case when the body of a woman was discovered face-down underneath a tree in a remote field in Ramona, near the Barona Indian Reservation.
Two days later, police officially identified the body as Mansury and classified the missing woman’s case as a homicide.
On Oct. 3, 2013, SDPD investigators arrested Ghazal on suspicion of her mother’s murder. Ghazal’s boyfriend, Lucio Moreno, was also questioned at police headquarters, but was later released.
On Oct. 7, 2013, Ghazal pleaded not guilty to the murder charge. A judge set her bail high, at $2 million, due to concerns with Ghazal’s possible connections to other countries and potential flight-risk.
According to prosecutors, Mansury was born in Jordan and has family in Afghanistan. However, for the past three decades, she has lived in San Diego. For the last 14 years, Ghazal had lived with her mother at Mansury’s Serra Mesa home.
In October 2013 NBC 7 learned that both Ghazal and her boyfriend, Lucio Moreno, have criminal records. Court documents indicate that Moreno was previously tied to cases involving possession of controlled substances and possession of a loaded handgun. Ghazal has priors involving burglary and theft.
During Ghazal’s preliminary hearing this week, a neighbor testified that Ghazal and her mother argued constantly, often times about Ghazal’s clutter in the face of Mansury’s efforts to keep her home clean.
An SDPD officer also took the stand, testifying that in 2011 Mansury asked police for advice on how to get her daughter’s boyfriend’s car out of her driveway.
A prosecutor said Ghazal referred to her mother as “the b**ch” and allegedly told detectives she dumped Mansury’s body near Barona Casino & Resort.
The prosecutor also alleged online searches were conducted on Ghazal’s computer searching for terms like “homicide” and “how to clean blood stains.”
Still, despite the prosecutor’s arguments, Ghazal’s attorney maintains his client did not kill her mother. Ghazal is due back in court on Mar. 20.