The search for a Tulsa killer continues

Monday, August 23rd 2004, 2:15 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa homicide detectives are trying to solve the murder of a young mother. If the suspect is her husband, as police believe, that means three children are now all alone in a country where they've only lived for three months.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright has the latest on the case.

Angelina and Effrian Munoz got married very young and had three children, a girl and two boys. They lived in Mexico. Angelina's family says Effrian was abusive and the last time, he nearly killed her and Mexican police got involved.

That was seven months ago and Effrian came to the states, got a job and started sending money home. They say he called Angelina, promised her and a new life, told her he was a changed man. So, about three months ago, she and the kids moved to Tulsa.

She got a job; the family had an apartment, even bought a car. However, her family says Effrian had not changed and Angelina kicked him out. Yet Friday night, they say he needed a place to stay so she agreed to let him stay over, just this once.

When her children woke up Saturday, they were alone. Geronimo Martinez, victim's brother in law: "They woke up Saturday and didn't see her or him. They were thinking they were at the grocery store or work, but, when they discovered the knife missing, they called police." Lori Fullbright: "Discovered what missing?" Martinez: "The knife, kitchen knife."

With both parents missing, the children were terrified. Within eight hours, police feared they'd found Angelina, a body, dumped in a park nearby. When police identified her body, they had to go tell the family and were struck by the silhouettes of her three children waiting in the doorway, waiting for their mother to come home.

Angelina's brothers drove in from Dallas and are trying to figure out what to do. With Angelina dead, Effrian missing, and three children grieving. Lori Fullbright: "How are the children?" Geronimo Martinez: "Bad, really bad. They don't know what to do, what's going to happen."

Detectives are working to get a warrant for Effrian Munoz. They believe he might be driving Angelina's 1994 white Ford Escort with a paper tag in the back window.

As for what will happen with the children, no one knows yet, if family here in the States will be able to take them in or if they'll be sent back to Mexico.