Local residents have laid a mother to rest after authorities found her dead in Hermiston last week.

The children and extended family of Hilaria Sanchez, 41, held a funeral mass for the mother of seven at Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church Thursday morning.

Community members and friends also have set up a donation account for the Sanchez family at Bank of America in Hermiston.

Hermiston Police received a report of an assault at 1215 S.W. 11th St #21 at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27.

After responding to the scene and ultimately declaring Hilaria Sanchez dead, authorities arrested her husband, Maurilio Lamas Sanchez, 45.

The state of Oregon indicted Maurilio on Monday in the Umatilla County Circuit Court and charged him with one count of murder for the death of his wife.

According to Margaret Rolen, who is active in the Catholic parish and is helping facilitate charitable actions, the Sanchez family had recently moved from Mexico.

She said the Sanchez children, who range in age from 2 to 19 years old, are with relatives and are doing fine.

Rolen said the account at Bank of America, which is located at 305 E. Main St., is under the name of one of the children, Nicandro Sanchez, and anyone in the community is welcome to donate.

According to Lt. Jason Edmiston of the Hermiston Police Department, his agency’s investigation into the matter is done, although the court could request further information from them.

The Sanchez case, along with the death of Jessica Dean Rogers, is the latest in a string of devastating losses of life in the Hermiston area over the past few years.

Edmiston said the department’s investigation continues into the death of Rogers, a 32-year-old Hermiston resident who died in a backyard pool Thursday, Sept. 2.

In a phone conversation Wednesday, Edmiston could not recollect any other on-going wrongful death investigations in the Hermiston Police Department, aside from assisting other agencies.

Steven Crum remains in a jail in The Dalles after the state charged him in the shooting death of Jessica Killian, a 30-year-old mother of one from Hermiston, whose body was found near Ione a month ago.

Circuit Judge Jeffery Wallace found Araceli Velasquez-Espain innocent Friday, clearing the mother of charges that she had knowingly contributed to the death of her baby in a portable toilet in June 2009.

According to newspaper records, Hermiston has seen a murder rate of less than one person per year over the last dozen years.

Even with its current population of about 16,000, however, that rate is about twice the average for the entire state of Oregon over the same time period.

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