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 December 28, 2023

Bodies of missing teen couple and their unborn baby discovered by police in San Antonio

Police discovered the bodies of a missing teen couple and their unborn baby in San Antonio Tuesday, Breitbart reported. Savanah Soto, 18, was reported missing Friday after failing to show up for her scheduled induction.

The San Antonio Police Department took over the investigation after the discovery in its jurisdiction. SAPD Chief William McManus said it was a "perplexing crime scene" where the couple was found.

"Detectives right now are looking at this as a possible murder…but we don’t know for sure," the chief said. The investigation is ongoing, but it appears Soto and the baby's father, her 22-year-old boyfriend Matthew Guerra, suffered gunshot wounds, Fox News reported.

Police have not confirmed the identities of the bodies found, but Soto's family said it was their missing loved one. They were found in Guerra's Kia Optima, which was parked in an apartment complex not far from where Soto was last seen.

Unfortunately, the gruesome discovery the day after Christmas raised more questions than answers about what might have happened. Notably, court records reveal that Guerra was on probation since he assaulted Soto on Christmas Day in 2022.

He recently received additional probation time for new charges related to reckless driving, evading arrest, and unlawful carry of a weapon. Authorities have not indicated that they believe Guerra to be involved in the murder of Soto and their unborn baby, but no other suspects have been identified.

While the circumstances of their untimely deaths are still unknown, it's not unheard of for a woman who was previously the victim of domestic abuse to turn up dead. In fact, pregnancy can sometimes become the tipping point for abusive partners.

Homicide is the leading cause of death among pregnant women, and often, it is their intimate partners who commit it, according to ABC News. An October 2022 study found that women are twice as likely to be murdered than they are to die from the top three medical causes of death during pregnancy or shortly after giving birth.

"Pregnancy represents a particularly high-risk time for experiencing intimate partner violence. While these statistics are shocking, pregnancy-associated homicides are preventable," said Dr. Rebecca Lawn, lead author of the paper and a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard School of Public Health.

For a couple with a history of domestic violence, pregnancy can be an aggravating factor, according to data from the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians. "Many pregnant patients are not aware of the increased risk of homicide during pregnancy and after childbirth," Dr. Nita Landry, an OB-GYN who practices in the Los Angeles area, said.

"Sometimes, pregnant patients are afraid to come forward," Landry added. Health authorities recommend screening for signs of domestic abuse at prenatal appointments, though it's unknown if this was at all a factor in the deaths of Soto, Guerra, and their unborn baby.

This is not the first time the Soto family has mourned one of their own. In May 2022, Savanah's 15-year-old brother Ethan Soto was shot dead in the street following an altercation.

Court proceedings in that case were interrupted when members of the Soto family and the suspect's family clashed in the courtroom. There's no evidence that the siblings' deaths are at all related.

More information is necessary to determine exactly what happened in that vehicle that day. In the meantime, both families are left to mourn their loved ones rather than celebrate the birth of a new baby.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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