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Family of Apache Junction mom killed by ex-boyfriend speaks out on domestic violence

Family and friends held a fundraiser on Saturday for the family of an Apache Junction mother who leaves behind two kids.
Published: May. 7, 2022 at 8:07 PM MST
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APACHE JUNCTION, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Family and friends held a fundraiser on Saturday for the family of an Apache Junction mother who leaves behind two kids. Maria Guadalupe Godinez Ramirez was shot and killed nearly a week ago. Police say they arrested her ex-boyfriend, Ulises A. Cruz Peraza, in connection with the shooting.

“Unfortunately, my little sister will never return home, but she should serve as an example for so many women who are suffering,” Esteban Godinez said. Maria’s brother, Esteban, describes her as the life of the party.

“What can I say, she was a good person, cheerful because she liked to hang out at parties a lot,” he said. The family says Saturday’s fundraiser will help bring Maria home to Mexico. He says the event also served as a reminder of all the hearts his sister touched. “Very happy for all the friendships my sister had. All the support we have.”

Although he only met Maria’s ex-boyfriend twice, Esteban says he knew she had an order of protection against him. Police say Maria called 911 to get help after being shot, and the dispatcher heard several gunshots while on the phone with her. When Esteban arrived at the crime scene, he says he immediately knew what had happened.

“There was her car and then I realized what had happened to her,” Esteban said. “I saw the car there and the whole accident scene and I said no, she was killed.”

According to the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual Domestic Violence, there have been 24 domestic violence-related deaths in 2022 as of March 31. Maria’s family says they hope her story can help another woman come forward and ask for help.