Vinessa Hoera, 23 vanished on the evening of February 24, 2004. Police found her body six weeks later, with fatal knife wounds to her neck, in low-lying brush near a Westhampton soccer field. Faustino Chavez, an illegal alien from Guatemala had kidnapped, raped, and murdered the young lady.
The bruises on her body showed that she tried to fight off her attacker but was not successful. Chavez, who apparently was angry when his advances toward her were not received positively was charged, convicted and sentenced for the crimes.
The young woman's family was shocked to hear the details of how savage her murder had been, like how her throat had been slashed several times from ear to ear. "I'm in shock," said Donna Hoera, the victim's mother. "I'm sick, I didn't know a lot of what they said." She further described her daughter as "on the up. She was a single mom, just bought a new car. She was a life-lover, a very positive person."
Vinessa had a five-year-old son. Chavez admitted in his guilty plea on February 15, 2005 that he raped the victim in her car at knifepoint, and later cut her throat several times before hiding her body. Police and members of the slain woman's family said Vinessa had repeatedly spurned Chavez's advances in the past. The two worked at Cor-J Seafood in Westhampton, a store managed by Vinessa's father. Because Chavez committed two felonies, rape and murder, a Suffolk County grand jury indicted the Guatemalan native for first and second-degree murder, in addition to one count of arson. Chavez set fire to the victim's car and left it abandoned on a road in Hampton Bays where police found it the day following the woman's disappearance.
Story reported in the 4MAY07 in the Westhampton Beach News
March 14, 2005 press release from the Suffolk County DA’s office
Sentencing Tuesday for murder of Mastic Beach mother http://www.co.suffolk.ny.us/da/press/2005/03_14_05.htm