Murder Victim's Friends Speak Out - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Murder Victim's Friends Speak Out

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PASCO, Wash.-- Friends and family are still in shock after a woman was murdered and her baby cut out, while the infant fights for his life.

Araceli Gomez was brutally murdered on Saturday, June 28th. Kennewick police have arrested Phien Sissouvanh in connection with the murder.

We checked with Kennewick police detectives on Thursday, they say the baby boy is still in critical condition at Deaconess Hospital in Spokane.

The Benton County Coroner says he's still trying to figure out whether Araceli Gomez was killed before or after the baby was taken out of her body.

On Thursday we also heard from friends of the family. Juan Cardenas owns the house Araceli and Juan Gomez lived in, with their two children.

Cardenas says the couple moved to Pasco about 8 months ago from California. He says they didn't have a place to live and were renting out the basement at his house on Lewis Street.

"They always paid their rent, they were really good people, Juan is a good person, very humble," said Juan Cardenas, a friend of the victim's family.

Cardenas also owns a convenience store right next to this house. He says Phien Sisouvanh stopped by his store a couple times last week.

The last time he saw her was on Friday night, when she stopped by to get some change and use the pay phone. Police say later that night Sisouvanh kidnapped Gomez.

Cardenas also told me detectives have already taken surveillance tapes from that night, to continue their investigation.

Cardenas says those who knew the family want to help out with some cash. He's set up a box for donations inside his store.

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