The daugher of a missing Serra Mesa woman has been arrested on a first-degree murder charge in connection with her mother's disappearance, the San Diego Police Department confirmed.
Mehria Mansury, 79, has been missing for more than a week.
On Thursday night, SDPD investigators arrested Mansury's daughter, Ghazal Mansury, on suspicion of her mother's murder. The suspect's boyfriend, Lucio Moreno, was also questioned at police headquarters, but later released.
According to police, family members last saw Mansury on Sept. 23, at around 5 p.m., when they stopped by to visit at her Serra Mesa home in the 2800-block of Amulet Drive. After she was not heard from for several days, family members called police to report her missing.
Given recent developments, including Ghazal's arrest, investigators said the missing person case is now classified as a homicide.
On Friday, homicide officials also confirmed that a body found in Ramona earlier this week had been identified as Mansury.
NBC 7 spoke with Mansury’s niece, Homaira Rassoul, on Thursday night. Like the rest of the family, Rassoul said she was upset over the latest developments and arrest of Ghazal.
“I'm heartbroken,” said Rassoul. “Totally dumbfounded.”
Over the past week, dozens of law enforcement officers searched San Diego County for the missing woman. All along, officials have said they considered Mansury a “missing person-at-risk,” but would not elaborate on the open case.
NBC 7 spoke with Mansury’s family just after she went missing last week. Family members said Mansury’s live-in daughter, Ghazal, was the last person to see her on the morning of Sept. 24, but did not report her missing. Ghazal had told family members that her mother went for a walk, but never returned.
On Sept. 25, relatives visited Mansury’s Serra Mesa home and discovered the house was a mess. A concerned relative called police, and that’s when the search for Mansury began. From the beginning, family members have said they do not believe Mansury just walked away from home.
On Wednesday night, investigators served a search warrant at Mansury’s home and escorted her daughter, who lives in the garage with her boyfriend, out of the residence.
Crime scene technicians then began collecting evidence and DNA samples from the home.
As this was happening, SDPD detectives were also in Ramona investigating a dead body that was discovered underneath a tree near the Barona Reservation. Police could not say whether the body and Mansury’s case were connected.
On Thursday, NBC 7 learned that both Ghazal and 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.
“Ghazal decided to go another direction in her life that was of course a thorn to all of us,” Rassoul told NBC 7.
Ghazal is now being held at Las Colinas Detention Facility on one count of first-degree murder. Jail records indicate she is not eligible for release. She's scheduled to appear in court on Monday.
Rassoul said Mansury’s family is deeply grateful to investigators. She hopes they’re able to get some closure and justice soon.
“[We] thank the police for all their support and their endeavours to solving this nightmare,” Rassoul said. “Hope is the best emotion. It is the warmest place you can fall on in time of crisis.”