Friends and family of Emilia Ignacio got the news they had been dreading this morning.
Today, Greenbelt City Police confirmed Ignacio, a 28 year old mother of two, was found stabbed to death inside a car along Frankfort Drive Friday afternoon.
"For it to be so close, it's very hard to deal with it," says Ignacio's cousin, Elizabeth Ignacio. "Because you never expect it to happen to you."
And now police are looking for 34 year old Juan Roman, Ignacio's recently reconciled boyfriend, and the father of her 1 year old son, Joel, as a person of interest in the case.
"The highest priority is to find Mr. Roman, this individual who was last seen with the victim," says Greenbelt City Police Spokesman George Mathews.
"It's a tragedy. A woman with kids, they're not going to know their mom, so it's terrible," he added.
Ignacio was also the mother of an 11 year old girl.
She was due to graduate from the University of Maryland in May, with a degree in legal studies. Her aim was to become a lawyer, to give legal help to the immigrant community.
"She was real sharp, very small. She had great analytical skills," recalls Toni Robertson, a friend who attended classes at UMD with Ignacio.
Robertson says Ignacio was a dedicated mother, and often missed her son.
"There's no way she would leave him for long, because even when we were studying, she would say she missed him."
Family members say Ignacio was last seen heading off for work early Tuesday morning. She had a date that night with Roman.
The family says there were later, cryptic text messages from Roman, indicating Ignacio might be in danger. As of early Wednesday, they say, Roman was not answering his cell phone.
"He didn't seem violent around the family, we can say that," says Elizabeth Ignacio. "But we never expected anything like this would happen."
Police say they believe they have the murder weapon, a folding pocket knife, found in the car.
Detectives say Roman may be driving a 2005 Red Jeep Cherokee, with Maryland plates '1AG 9751'
Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Mr. Roman is urged to contact the Greenbelt Police Department at 240-542-2133.