Chronicle Arizona: Who Killed Nicole Aguilera? Thirty years without answers

Who Killed Nicole Aguilera? 30 years ago, in Phoenix, Arizona, a Hispanic mother of two daughters was killed by 90 stab wounds. Aguilera,...

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Foto: Departamento de Polica de San Antonio.
  • Who Killed Nicole Aguilera? 30 years ago, in Phoenix, Arizona, a Hispanic mother of two daughters was killed by 90 stab wounds.
  • Aguilera, 18 when she died, told her friends and family in the days before her death that she feared for her life and felt threatened.
  • Vanessa and Reina Aguilera, the two daughters of the woman, do not give up in their demand for justice.

30 years ago, Nicole Aguilera was stabbed to death in Phoenix, Arizona. Despite the time, her two daughters continue to demand justice.

The murder of Nicole Molly Aguilera is one of the greatest mysteries in the annals of Phoenix Police Department (PPD), in Arizona, as it has not been resolved.

Detectives from the PPD Homicide Division who worked on the case have now retired. Documents gather dust in the criminal courts of the Maricopa County.

There is not a single detainee for that death. There are also no clues. Only a dead woman and two daughters, Vanessa and Reina Aguilera, who despite time do not give up. Both are united to discover the truth and find out who murdered their mother.

What follows is the narrative told in the voices of the police officers who investigated the case and that of two young Hispanic women from Arizona who warn that they will not give up in their quest to learn the truth.

Nicole Molly Aguilera was 18 years old and a girl with a bright future. Despite her youth, she was already the mother of two girls, one 3 years old and the other 8 months old. They both lived with her.

Friends of that time remember her as a student struggling to earn her General Education Development (GED) degree, an equivalent of a high school degree.

In addition, the girl was involved in various social movements of socio-political consciousness and was active in the organization Chicanos For The Cause (CPLC), supporting immigrant communities in Arizona, who helped her with her studies.

Those who knew Nicole Aguilera remember that days before her death the girl presented a report to the PPD because she felt insecure, threatened.

Nicole Molly Aguilera, 18 years old at the time of death, was the mother of two daughters and who until now continue to cry out for justice. (Photos: Arizona Police Department)

In the investigation of the case there is no copy of the report presented by Aguilera. However, the girl’s friends maintained to the authorities that she did.

The morning of Thursday, January 17, 1991 dawned especially cold in the Phoenix metropolitan area. A thick layer of fog covered the city.

That day a friend of Aguilera called the PPD emergency number to say that the girl had not answered the phone since early in the morning and was worried about her since she had not shown up for work.

It is not detailed in the legal documents of the case in which Aguilera was working at that time. Nor will the friend’s name be revealed in this story for discretion.

The first apartment was the house Nicole Aguilera lived in when she was killed by 90 stab wounds. The back door was ajar.

A PPD patrolman was assigned to cover the report to go to the girl’s apartment in a housing complex located at 1206 South 3rd Avenue, at the intersection of Buckeye Road in the Warehouse District, in southwest Phoenix.

The housing complex in which the events took place still exists and is still a residential center for Hispanic families across the street from Lowell Elementary School.

According to his report, the PPD patrolman knocked on the door of Aguilera’s house and no one answered. He was struck by the fact that the door was closed, but not locked, so he opened it and called out to the woman.

Then the police discovered the daunting scene: Nicole Molly Aguilera lay dead in the living room of her house, stabbed to death. A trail of blood filled the place.

When searching the house, the PPD patrolman found that a five-month-old baby was in her crib, bewildered, in the room of the house, crying and showing signs that she was hungry. She was the youngest daughter of the victim and had not been injured.

The legal documents of the case detail that Aguilera’s other daughter, then 3 years old when the events occurred, had spent the night at the home of her maternal grandmother, who later became her mother.

The PPD patrolman then requested the presence of detectives from the PPD Homicide Division to take charge of the case.

One of the detectives who attended the crime scene described the scene as “horrible, a brutal murder, and it appears that there was a fight at the scene.” The house was a mess. The woman had been stabbed 90 times. An indescribable viciousness.

During the investigations, one of Aguilera’s neighbors stated in her statement that around 1:00 in the morning of that Thursday she heard screams and insults between a woman and a man in the girl’s house.

Then everything was silent until the authorities arrived in the morning.

In their search of the home, officers did not find that either door had been forced open. The back door was slightly ajar.

Homicide Division detectives presumed Aguilera knew of her attacker and let him in. They established in their investigation that perhaps it was two people who attacked the girl, both men.

In their investigation, detectives from the PPD Homicide Division stated that they followed all possible leads and interviewed several possible suspects and dozens of witnesses. It was all in vain.

Over time, the death of Nicole Molly Aguilera went from being an active investigation to entering the list of Cold Cases that seem to have no solution.

After several years, the Homicide Division of the PPD turned over the investigation of the case to the Division of Unsolved Cases and it remains there until now.

The police are still waiting for someone to give them the reliable lead on the murderer or murderers of the girl who was stabbed to death 30 years ago. Most of her injuries were to the face and neck.

Vanessa and Reina Aguilera go every week to visit their mother’s grave which they vaguely remember and only have photographs. From time to time the two girls call the authorities to find out if there is progress in the investigation.

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The post Chronicle Arizona: Who Killed Nicole Aguilera? Thirty years without answers appeared first on Hispanic World.


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