Family of mother killed in Orange County plead for help finding shooters

Victim was killed during violent attempted carjacking, investigators say

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The family of a woman who was shot and killed during what investigators called an attempted carjacking is pleading for help finding the men responsible.

The sister and husband of Roxana Sanchez spoke alongside investigators with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old mother of two was shot outside her home in the 10000 block of Lecon Branch Court, in a neighborhood off Dean Road, around 12:42 a.m. Saturday morning.

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According to the sheriff’s office, the victim was returning with another person from an evening out. The two were followed back to the home by a pair of men, according to Sgt. Joe Covelli.

“They were pulled into the driveway of the victim’s residence, they’re just talking, and a car comes up behind them,” Covelli said. “(The men) get out, approach the victims on both sides of the car and bang on the car telling them to get out. The driver, in fear, put the car into reverse, striking the suspects’ car — not severe, but enough to have a little bit of scuff marks on there. The passenger suspect ended up started shooting and that’s the side that Roxana was sitting on.”

Investigators said the surviving victim could not see either culprit’s face, only their arms. Deputies were able to find surveillance video, seen above, of the car they believe the killers were driving but were not able to offer information on a make or model. Covelli said it is a sedan that is a light color — silver, gray or white — and it has a sunroof.

“My sister was the most caring person. She loved everyone,” the victim’s sister, Yahaira Viado, said through tears. “So please, if you do have any information, any information — as little as it could be — just please call. We want justice for our sister. We just want to know why, why you had to do that her.”

Sanchez was a mother to two sons, ages 8 and 11, according to her husband, Douglas Mejia.

“We woke up (on Mother’s Day) thinking, ‘What do we want to do?’ That’s the question one of my sons asked me — the oldest. ‘I mean, let’s celebrate her memory. Her life. You got your cards here. That was you made from your heart, from your thoughts, your mind,’” Mejia said, overcome by emotion.

Investigators said they are working with all of the businesses in the area where Sanchez and the other victim were prior to the shooting to try to track down more surveillance video that could help find the killers.

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Office at 407-254-7000 or call Crimeline at 1-800-423-8477.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.