SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA) — The mother of a woman found dead in a San Bernardino parking lot is looking for answers, saying she had a feeling her daughter was dead before she was discovered.
The partly decomposed body of Marlene Santellan, 34, was found Sunday morning in a parking lot on the 2500 block of De Rosa Avenue North near Pumalo Street. Homicide investigators said Santellan’s body was wrapped in a tarp inside a makeshift wooden box.
“I just want to be with my daughter,” Wanda Edwards said, wiping away tears Monday.
“I know, you just gotta think of your grandkids,” said Marlene’s aunt Tammy Petersman as she attempted to console the grieving mother. “You’ll see Marlene through them.”
“I know,” Edwards replied.
Santellan’s mother told reporters she had a prescient feeling when her daughter went missing, saying she had spoken to her daughter about her death.
The women said the young mother of five had been missing for twelve days. They filed a missing persons report Friday.
“My sister kept saying, ‘Tammy, I know she’s dead,’ and I kept telling her, ‘No, no, no,'” Peterman told CBS2 News.
Two days after they contacted law enforcement authorities, a passer-by found Santellan’s body in the parking lot.
Edwards told CBS2 she had a gut feeling about her daughter’s death because Santellan had recently discussed her own death with her mother, pleading her to take care of her children.
“Two weeks ago, ‘Mom. Please, Mom, when I die,’ ’cause she knew,” Edwards said. “She said, ‘Mom, when I’m gone, please fight for my kids and get my kids back.'”
Edwards told CBS2 her daughter was devastated when child protective services took her children last year. She said Santellan then began hanging out with the wrong people.
“She was [on] the wrong path, I know that,” said Edwards.
On Monday, among the flowers and balloons left at the site where Santellan’s body was discovered, Marie Cabrera and other members of the First Response Prayer Team were there to provide comfort to Edwards and the mourners.
“You know, they feel sad, we’re sad. They’re broken, we feel broken with them,” Cabrera told CBS2.
Businesses nearby said they did not pick up anything on their security cameras.
Edwards is asking for anyone who knows anything to come forward with the information.
Persons with information regarding the incident are asked to call the San Bernardino Police Dept. at (909)384-7272.