Missing Glendale woman found dead in Phoenix; police investigating death as homicide

PHOENIX - Phoenix police are asking for the public's help in locating the person responsible for a missing Glendale woman's death.   

Just before 10 a.m. Saturday, officers responded to an alley near 7th and Mohave streets where they found a woman with obvious physical trauma, and she was pronounced dead.   

Police say they are investigating the woman's death as a homicide. She has since been identified as 43-year-old Maria G. Villanueva, who was reported missing by Glendale police.   

Villanueva's 14-year-old daughter was the last one to talk to her. 

"Why? How do they have the heart to do that to a mother, you know? Without knowing the consequences that they leave the family in," said Adelina Rodriguez, Villanueva's daughter.

According to information released by Glendale police on her disappearance, Villanueva was last seen around 65th Avenue and Bethany Home Road around 9 p.m. Friday.  

Her family says Villanueva was a hard worker and put family first.  

"She just dedicated herself to her work and her family. She didn't deserve to die that way," said Paulina Villanueva, the victim's mother.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist the family during this time.

Anyone with information on what happened to Villanueva is asked to call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS. Phoenix police can also take tips on the investigation.   

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