San Diego

Few Leads, No Answers in Mission Valley Homicide

"It’s nothing a family ever wants to experience," the victim's daughter said.

The daughter of a woman found dead in a Mission Valley office building recalls the last moment she spoke with her mother, two days before her mother’s body was discovered.

Diana Stewart last spoke with her mother Maria Kelly on Thursday around 5:30 p.m. 

"On Friday, when I called her and she did not answer I didn’t really think much of it," Stewart said. "I thought well, Mom's probably busy." 

However, Stewart said she was told her mother didn't arrive at home Thursday.

Kelly's husband looked for her at the accounting office Friday morning, but the door was locked and no one was around, according to the family.

Stewart said her mother's car was at the office building Friday. 

On Saturday, family members brought a spare key to check on the victim's office. She said she was there with her father and daughter when they noticed a closed closet door. They opened the door and found Kelly's body, she said. 

San Diego homicide investigators say Kelly, 66, was found with a single gunshot wound to her body. 

The victim had been reported missing three days prior to her death, police said. 

Stewart said her mother helped people with financial questions ranging from taxes to residential loans. 

"She was smart like that," her daughter said. “She would do anything for anybody.”

Stewart's sister Crystal Vasquez rushed to the Mission Valley office on Saturday when she heard the news. Shortly after arriving, Vasquez used a bathroom in a nearby building.

When she didn't return, another family member found her inside the bathroom with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

Vasquez, 34, of Chula Vista was a mother to two children ages 2 and 5 years old, Stewart said.

"I have no answers," Stewart said concerning the loss of her sister.

"I just know [my mother] and my sister were very close," she said. "My sister worked with her daily."

Now, the family is preparing for two funerals.

"It’s nothing a family ever wants to experience," Stewart said. 

Police said they do not have leads on any possible suspects. Vasquez is not suspected in the death of her mother, SDPD homicide detectives said. 

Anyone with information regarding this incident can call the Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

There is help for anyone contemplating suicide. The San Diego hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can get help by calling 888-724-7240.

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