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Police say Parkville man killed wife and daughter before suicide

A Parkville man killed his wife and teenage daughter before killing himself last week, Baltimore County police said Wednesday.

Police had been investigating the family's deaths as a murder-suicide since Friday but said for the first time Wednesday that based on injuries and where the bodies were found, they believe Gilbert Mendoza, 50, killed his wife, Vedrana, 40, and daughter, Molly, 15, and then killed himself.

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"We do not know why this tragedy occurred, and we may never know," police spokeswoman Elise Armacost wrote in an email to The Baltimore Sun. "The investigation did show that the family was facing some financial troubles."

Molly Mendoza, a freshman at Loch Raven High School, was found in bed on the second floor of the family home on Cromwood Road with a single gunshot wound, police said.

Her parents were found in bed in a first-floor bedroom, police said. Vedrana Mendoza had multiple stab and gunshot wounds. Police said Gilbert Mendoza stabbed and shot himself.

Molly and Vedrana Mendoza worked in the dining services department at the Oak Crest retirement community. A neighbor said Gilbert Mendoza worked as a waiter at a hotel.

Pablo Sainz, who said his 15-year-old daughter, Katelyn, was close friends with Molly, described her as friendly and sweet. The girls, who attended Pine Grove Middle School together, had sleepovers and liked to hang out at the White Marsh Mall. They both shared a love of art, he said.

Katelyn Sainz said her friend's death has left her feeling "kind of empty."

She said Molly idolized the actress Jennifer Lawrence and loved to joke around.

"She was a person who could make you laugh, no matter what," she said.

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Molly often played basketball outside with her father and was very close with her mother, she said.

Vedrana Mendoza "had such a soft voice," Katelyn said. "She seemed like she was a very, very nice person."

Katelyn placed flowers and a poster in front of the Mendozas' home this weekend.

"We're just completely shocked by this whole thing," Pablo Sainz said.

twitter.com/aliknez

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