Mother found dead in car in front of two young children, police say

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PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – St. Petersburg police are investigating after a woman was found dead in her car with two young children in the backseat.

The St. Petersburg Police Department Public Information Officer Sandra Bentil says a 911 call came in around 5:30 p.m. Saturday for reports of a person shot in the 100 block of 60th Street South.

When officers arrived, Bentil said they found 27-year-old Joana Peca dead inside a car from an apparent gunshot wound. Peca’s two young children were also in the car, unharmed but terrified, according to police.

“Two young children tonight are going to go to bed without their mother,” Bentil said.

Police are now asking the community for any information related to the incident.

“Anytime we have children whose lives are affected by violence in this way, we ask the community to please come forward,” she said.

Residents can call SPPD’s non-emergency hotline at 727-893-7780 with any information they may have on the incident. To submit an anonymous tip, text SPPD and your tip to 847411 (tip411).

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