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Mom says pregnant Texas teen found shot to death with boyfriend "was just there at the wrong time"

Missing pregnant Texas teen, boyfriend found dead
Missing pregnant Texas teen and boyfriend found dead 02:08

The family of Savanah Nicole Soto, a pregnant 18-year-old who was missing for several days before she and her boyfriend were found dead in a vehicle in San Antonio, Texas, is speaking out about the teen's death. 

Soto was last seen at her apartment on Friday, Dec. 22, just one day before she was scheduled to be induced to give birth, a week past her due date. She lived in the apartment with her boyfriend, Matthew Guerra, who was also reported missing. 

On Tuesday, the bodies of a woman and man, believed to be the missing couple, were found in a vehicle by a searcher who contacted Soto's family, who then called police. The woman was pregnant, police said, and the unborn child was also dead. 

In a statement Wednesday, police said the victims, an 18-year-old woman and 22-year-old man, each had a gunshot wound. CBS affiliate KENS reports the investigation has been categorized as a capital murder case.

San Antonio Police Chief Bill McManus called it a "very, very perplexing crime scene" and said investigators were looking into the possibility of homicide. 

"We believe it was the missing woman and her boyfriend but we can't confirm that" until the medical examiner completes the examination, McManus said. 

Soto's mother, Gloria Cordova, tells CBS News that she believes her daughter was in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

"I think it had something to do with him and things that he was doing, not my daughter," Cordova said, referring to Matthew Guerra. "My daughter just was there with him and they didn't want ... they didn't want someone to say what happened, somebody that's going to say it's so-and-so or this is what he looked like. She just was there at the wrong time."  

Savanah Soto. Texas Department of Public Safety

Family says there was history of abuse 

Soto's mother and aunt both said that the relationship between Soto and Guerra had been abusive. 

"He used to abuse her," Soto's mother said. "And I told her to get out of the relationship, but she — she was hard-headed, she wouldn't listen. But I think this time she was going to leave him already. That's what I'm hearing." 

Soto's aunt, Laura Cordova, said the couple "would fight a lot," describing their relationship as "rocky." She said her niece had had bruises and that Guerra "would hit her throughout her pregnancy."  

Police have not commented on or verified allegations of abuse. 

Soto's mother said that the couple had disagreed about whether she should be in the delivery room when Soto gave birth. Cordova said that Guerra had not wanted her in the room, but her daughter said she could be there. 

CBS News has reached out to Guerra's family but has not heard back. Guerra's father spoke with CBS affiliate KENS and acknowledged his son had a criminal history, including an assault charge involving Savanah last year. 

"He didn't hang around the best crowd," Guerra's father told the station.

However, he said the two had been in a good place since living together and were excited about the baby, a boy they planned to name Fabian.

"They were inseparable. Was it a perfect relationship? No, but she definitely was not a prisoner there," he said. "Her and Matthew were both overjoyed and couldn't wait for Fabian's arrival."

Crime scene details 

Soto's brother, Jordan Corona, told CBS News that police told him there was no weapon found at the scene, and that both Guerra and Soto were shot in the back of the head.  

Laura Cordova said a detective told her that Guerra was found slumped over in the backseat of the vehicle, and that Soto was in the front. 

Soto was holding a car seat, according to her mother. 

"She had the car seat on her lap, so she was going to the hospital," Gloria Cordova said. 

Police have said that the car might have been at the location where it was found "possibly for three or four days."

"I wish she was here with her baby" 

Soto's relatives expressed shock and grief at the loss of the teen and her baby. The family lost another child just last year — Soto's brother, Ethan.

Laura Cordova said she saw her niece just days before her disappearance that Soto was "counting the days" and excited to be a mother. 

"I wish she was here with her baby," Laura Cordova told CBS News, through tears. 

Gloria Cordova said her daughter "was like a mini mom" who was looking forward to motherhood.

"She was like my backbone. She's the one that kept me going," she said. "I don't want to believe that she's gone. It hurts too much. She was my only daughter."

She said Soto's brothers are "shattered" by the loss of their sister.

"It broke my heart when they told me she passed away. And even knowing how she passed away, it kills me so bad," Cordova said. "But now I just have to think now she's with her brother in heaven. She's not feeling no pain no more."

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