Fort Worth

Murder Mystery: Who Killed Fort Worth Grandmother?

One Month Later, Victim’s Family Prays for Arrest in Drive-by Shooting

One month after Maria Cortez was shot to death in a drive-by shooting while she was in bed asleep, her family is desperate to learn who did it and why.

It was about 1:30 a.m. on April 24 when someone pulled up in a vehicle and opened fire on Cortez's house on West Loraine Street on Fort Worth's north side.

A barrage of bullets pierced the outside, a few went right through an inside wall, and one hit the 54-year-old grandmother in the head.

She died about an hour later.

Her husband and 2-year-old granddaughter, who also were home at the time, weren't hurt.

"You don't imagine going to sleep, thinking, 'OK, this is the last time I'm going to see my family members,'" said Cortez's niece, Vanessa Ferrino.

"They have to realize they took a very important person," said her son, Luis Urbina.

The family gathered around her grave at Mount Olivet Cemetery Tuesday evening to pray for answers.

"I trust in God that whoever did it is going to somehow pay," Ferrino said.

Her family remembers the happy times.

Cortez loved to sing and was usually the life of the party, they said.

She worked at a fan factory and was a proud mother of four and grandmother of eight.

But after a month without an arrest, her family is frustrated.

"I actually feel it's slipping away about who did it," her son said.

Suddenly, the family's home of 15 years isn't home anymore.

They're scared, and moving out.

Their prayers, for now, are still unanswered.

"It's kind of like an unfinished book," Ferrino said.

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