HOUSTON — The Houston Police Department is investigating a gruesome scene after a 23-year-old woman was found viciously murdered Monday morning insider her home.
"There's clearly a lot of disruption. It's a very violent scene," Det. Fil Waters said. "Our victim was fighting, was trying to survive whatever attack that was upon her."
Family members found Zuleika Hernandez in the bathroom of her residence in the 6600 block of Sherwood Drive near Alerta Street around 2 a.m. in southwest Houston. The detectives said the family had to jump over the home's padlocked fence in order to reach the victim.
"Family members had not heard from her in two to three days, so in order to check on her welfare," Waters said. "A couple of them came over here and found her deceased inside the residence."
Investigators said Hernandez was last seen Friday night after driving up to the house in a black SUV between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Police said witnesses also saw a pickup truck in the driver way on the south side of the residence.
The victim was allegedly seen trying to get her dogs back into the yard before going inside the home. Police said the van left a short time after that.
In what detectives described as a "personal type of attack," investigators found disturbing amounts of blood in multiple rooms of the house. Officers said it's difficult to determine whether the victim was stabbed, shot or beaten at this point.
Investigators have identified no suspects at this time.
Police said the back door of the home was left open, suggesting the alleged killer escaped through the backyard of the house. The three dogs that live in the yard did not respond, Waters said it is possible the suspected attacker knew the victim.
"We do know that there was an incident of family violence with the husband, but he is in custody and he is in a facility somewhere," Waters said. "So that removes him as a suspect in this."
The police department is also searching for a white 1999 F-350 with license plate number CYR-9260 is missing. A business decal on the right rear end of the car reads: "Antonio Ayala Roofing." The vehicle has damage to the hood and a large sticker on the rear window resembling an El Salvador flag with the numbers "503" on it.
The Houston Police Department released a similar image of the flag.
Anyone with information should call Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS or HPD Homicide at 713-308-3600.