Relatives of a young couple found murdered in their Northeast Dallas apartment Wednesday are raising questions about the police response.
The victims were identified Thursday as 24-year-old Jimena Sandoval and 27-year-old David Stewart.
Family members say the couple may have been dead inside the apartment for two days with their two young daughters inside the entire time.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Lizette Faz, Sandoval’s sister-in-law.
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Faz said Sandoval and her 3-year-old and 8-month-old daughters attended a family gathering Sunday.
Later that night at Sandoval and Stewart’s complex, a neighbor called 911 to report hearing gunshots around midnight.
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Police arrived about two hours later.
”Responding officers knocked on the door several times and announced themselves as police. Officers also listened at the door for sounds coming from inside the apartment but did not hear anyone inside," said a Dallas Police Department spokesman.
The spokesman added that areas surrounding and below the apartment were searched and that the reporting party did not answer their door.
“With officers not hearing or seeing any signs of anyone inside the apartment or a sign of a disturbance, officers cleared the call and went back into service,” the spokesperson said.
Wednesday, officers returned to the apartment.
“The oldest daughter's the one who opened the door,” Faz said.
They made the gruesome discovery along with the children who may have been unattended for more than two days.
“If gunshots were heard, why not try to break the door down? There's two babies in there. They were left alone for that long,” Faz said tearfully.
Thursday, Dallas detectives discovered the couple's car, a 2014 Black Nissan Sentra, Texas License Plate HNT9708, was missing from the parking lot which the suspect, they say, may be driving.
Family members, Faz says, are now taking care of the couple's daughters. It should be a time of celebration. The oldest daughter turns 4 years old on Saturday.
“We need to remind her daughters what a beautiful person she was,” Faz said.
Anyone with information regarding this offense is encouraged to contact Detective Yahir Perez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-671-4735. Reference case # 116917-2022.
Crime Stoppers is offering up to $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest and indictment for this or other felony crimes. If you have information about this offense and wish to remain anonymous, please call 214-373-TIPS, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.