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Family searching for answers after Phoenix mom shot, dead in canal

Janet Begaye
Posted at 10:52 PM, Jul 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-10 10:51:24-04

The family of 37-year-old Janet Begay is begging for information that will help them figure out who killed their loved one.

The last person to see the mom of four from Glendale is her oldest son, Tyler Johnson.

"She said I’ll be back," said Tyler. "I promise. I love you baby. I love you my son. I promise I'll be back."

Tyler said his mom dropped off his siblings just after midnight on July 4 and was going to hang out with a friend he didn’t know.

Tuesday morning Begay was found in a canal near 32nd Street and McDowell Road.

"Everything is like going through our minds," said Jeannette Johnson. "Like what was she doing with her other friend? We haven’t heard from her."

Family said Begay's youngest is just six years old and can’t even comprehend that his mom is gone.

Phoenix Police haven’t released many additional details, leaving her family with many questions.

Begay's family said her car, described as a 2009 white Impala with a Cardinals sticker and minor damage on both sides, is still missing.

"Also, her personal belongings, her purse, her wallet are also missing," said Jeannette.

On Saturday, family and friends gathered adding candles, balloons and flowers to a memorial near the canal where Begay was found.

They wore red shirts to represent Begay's favorite team, the Arizona Cardinals, but also because red represents the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women of the United States.

Begay's family is a part of the Navajo Tribe.

“You can’t replace her, man," said Begay's friend Marlene Mercado. "It's just hard.”

Those close to the mom describe her as bubbly, loving and a friend to many.

Begay's family is urging anyone with information about what happened to come forward.

"I just want answers for whoever did this to her and why?" said Jeannette through tears.

The family also has a GoFundMe to help cover costs for the funeral. They are planning to bury Begay at a family plot in New Mexico.