LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Authorities have launched a homicide investigation into the death of a mother of three whose body was found at her Sylmar home late Tuesday night.
At around 11:30 p.m., Los Angeles police were called to the home in the 12900 block of Lyle Street on a report of a 37-year-old woman who was not conscious or breathing. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
She was identified by family members as Gina Cantero. Police have released no information on the cause of death. No gunshots were fired, police added. It's unclear when exactly she may have died.
"She was a good friend of mine," said Julie Todd, a neighbor. "We've known each other since we were little kids."
Extended family members at the scene told CBSLA early Wednesday that Cantero and her husband, the father of her three teenage daughters, had separated. The father and daughters were returning from a Mexico vacation when they found her dead.
Family members told CBSLA they had been concerned Cantero's current boyfriend might try and harm her.
"We are aware of that and we are following up on those leads," LAPD Det. Christine Moselle told reporters Wednesday morning.
However, Moselle did not immediately identify him as suspect in the case. Investigators also confirmed that a car that was missing from the home has since been recovered.
"That vehicle has been recovered and impounded, and we are trying to investigate to see how that is tied to the death of this female," Moselle said.
Moselle initially disclosed that detectives were looking into whether a pursuit Tuesday night in Hollywood involving a stolen Acura was possibly linked to the death. However, LAPD officials later stated that they do not believe the pursuit is linked to the woman's death.
In that pursuit, the suspect crashed the car at Hollywood Boulevard and McCadden Place, hitting a pedestrian in the process. The pedestrian was taken to a hospital with a leg injury, police said.
The suspect abandoned the car, escaped and remains at large.
Todd told CBSLA that the family had already been struggling with the loss of Gina's mother and grandmother earlier this year.
"Really fun, playful, she would laugh, she had a real big laugh, and it was really distinctive, you knew when she was around," Todd said.
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