Pregnant Ariz. Mom Who Was ‘Afraid to Leave’ Husband Is Killed by Him in Murder-Suicide

Harriet Sokmensuer,People

An pregnant mother of three in Arizona was killed by her husband in what police say was a murder-suicide.

On Sept. 18, Vanessa Palma was found dead in the Maricopa home she shared with husband Matthew Padzunas and their three children. According to her family’s GoFundMe page, Palma was five months pregnant with a fourth child and was originally from Bayonne, New Jersey.

“She’s an angel, they always say the good ones go first,” Palma’s older sister Jessica Caballero told ABC15.

Palma’s unborn child was named “Maeve,” according to the GoFundMe.

Following the murder-suicide, Maricopa police told News12 they had responded to three phones calls relating to domestic violence in the past. Police told KGUN that Padzunas was arrested in June on disorderly conduct charges after allegedly throwing water on his wife.

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Still, Palma was afraid of what would happen if she left her abusive husband, family members said.

“She was a great mother and a great provider,” her brother, George Palma, told “She was scared to leave him, but she tried her best to get out of that relationship.”

Now, Palma’s three children, who range in age from 7 to 12 years old, are staying with their aunt.

“It’s difficult for me and my family, especially those kids,” Caballero told ABC15, while urging anyone in an abusive relationship to not be afraid to ask for help. “Think of your children, think of your loved ones.”

If you suspect domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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