Sarai Llanos Gomez was a young Ecuadorian woman who came to America last year seeking a better life.
According to her mother, the 19-year-old single mother of two moved to the Atlanta area in hopes of finding a waitressing job so she could send money back to her family. But those dreams ended in tragedy last month when her body was found in a wooded area in Hall County, Ga. Authorities say she’d been murdered.
“Ms. Gomez’s body was found on Paradise Point Road on June 20, 2022,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement on Tuesday. “Investigators determined Ms. Gomez was a victim of murder; however, there was nothing at the scene that immediately pointed to her identity. The ongoing investigation, including the release of a composite GBI sketch of the victim, led to her positive identification this week.”
Authorities say that they’re looking for a motive in the killing — but those who knew her believe that she may have been killed after turning down work as a sex worker.
According to Telemundo, Gomez had moved from Ecuador to Chicago in 2021 and lived with family members while working at various restaurants. She had recently moved to Atlanta after receiving a job offer to work as a waitress in a hotel.
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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Steve Helling