Lester, Ala. - Two women whom investigators say have ties to New York State were killed in a stabbing in the state of Alabama.
Limestone County Sheriff's deputies tell WAAY Rosa Aminta Maldonado, 44, and Rosalee Maldonado, 19, died following an apparent domestic incident in Lester, Alabama early Wednesday morning. Lester is located approximately 100 miles south of Nashville, Tennessee - just across the Tennessee-Alabama border. They say a 15-year-old sister and daughter allegedly stabbed the women.
Deputies confirmed to 13WHAM News that both victims are from Albion.
Deputies reported, upon arriving at the scene, a 15-year-old suspect was found stabbing herself with a knife. She was reportedly taken to a hospital for treatment. She is under 24-hour surveillance by deputies. She has not yet been charged.
Several investigators in Limestone County said they have been dealing with domestic issues between these family members for several months.
“There were indicators there was a problem,” said Stephen Young, Public Information Officer with Limestone County Sheriff’s Office. “Unfortunately, it's easy to look at it after the fact and see it; it's a lot more difficult to identify the red flags.”
Young said one of the victims called 911 to alert law enforcement. He said dispatchers were on the phone with the victim when she was killed. The two victims and the suspect were the only three people at the home when deputies arrived. They were also the only people who lived at the home.
Rosalee’s friend, Marina Zeppetella, said she last saw her a little over a month ago. She knew she wanted to be in Alabama and didn’t worry about her.
“She wanted to, she wanted to go be with her mom. I never thought something like that would happen,” said Zeppetella. “It's hard for me to believe it. Honestly, I still kind of don't believe it. I don't want to believe it. It's upsetting. It's devastating, you know. I was just with her, and now she's gone.”
Zeppetella and other friends are planning a vigil at 8 p.m. on Friday at Bullard Park in Albion.
“It's for Rosa and her mother. We just want to be able to get together; we don't want it to be a dull moment, we just want to be able to celebrate their lives and remember them for the good people that they were,” said Zeppetella.
On Thursday morning, the Albion Central School District offered its condolences for Rosa Lee's death. She was a 2017 graduate from Albion Central Schools.
"Rosalee was a most pleasant young lady with a beautiful smile. She was a great loyal friend to many who felt her love for them. She will be greatly missed.
The entire family and their many friends are in our minds and on our hearts during this tragic time."
Rosa Aminta Maldonado had previously lost a daughter to violence. In 2011, her 15-year-old daughter Katherine Sanchez was raped and murdered by her brother-in-law in Orleans County. Nearly a month after she was first reported missing, Sanchez's body was found buried in an orchard.
Carlos Cardenas was arrested and later pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He is currently serving a sentence of 25 years to life in state prison.