A series of bullet holes marked as evidence on the side of a mobile home, a simple nativity scene and two touching notes remain as a testament to what residents call the “evil’’ that invaded lot 29 at a north Mesa mobile home park more than a week ago.
It would be easy to miss Wintercove Park at 549 E. McKellips Road, but a killer somehow found the park at 3 a.m. Aug. 29 and made his way to the single-wide trailer.
Police said theorize the killer could have stepped out of his or her car and pumped a series of shots into a bedroom about three feet off the ground where Ana Leticia Valenzuela, 30, and her 10-year-old son Yudiel Valenzuela were sleeping.
The small mobile home was crowded, with 10 people sleeping inside. When police responded to a “shots fired” call, they found the mother and son dead inside.
Miraculously, no one else was physically injured.
Mesa Police have released few details as they investigate the unusual double-slaying.
Ana Valenzuela had no criminal record, and a neighbor and the parks’ managers said she and the other mobile home inhabitants were not troublemakers.
Judiel was a student at Lehi Elementary School, where administrators declined comment.
“I heard the gunshots. There were a lot of them,’’ neighbor Denise Robertson said.
Robertson said that she does not speak Spanish and did not know the family personally, but she knew them by sight and often watched their children playing in the street.
She said they seemed like nice people and there was nothing that made her suspect that something horrible would happen.
She said the park is normally quiet and the worst thing she could remember was a fire in a nearby dumpster.
“If you have a problem with someone, you deal with it,’’ Robertson said, decrying the violence. “You don’t involve the kids. The kids didn’t ask for this.’’
“What gives them the right to take someone’s life? They’re not God. No one has the right to do that,’’ she said.
The mobile home park is neat and caters to families.
Roxanne and Calvin Freeman, the park’s managers, said residents were traumatized and heartsick over the double-slaying.
They said that people started responding by dropping off small cash donations, ranging from $5 to $100, for the family.
Calvin Freeman said that so far, he has received about $1,300 for the family, which is in need of help to cover funeral and living expenses. He has been accepting cash and blank money orders, but he has no account in which to accept donations.
He said the donations represent sacrifices by working people who are struggling to get through life themselves.
“They just started coming down and said they wanted to help,’’ Calvin Freeman said. “It’s a genuine thing. The people in this park are not wealthy. For them to hand over $5 is a big thing.’’
He said that he and his wife had never met the victims and it is likely that the tenants were allowing them to stay there out of the goodness of their hearts.
“You could not ask for a better family. He was a hard-working man. I believe he did flooring. I’ve seen his work and it was excellent,’’ Freeman said.
He said he believes about five people may have lived inside the mobile home normally and there must have been some sort of an emergency that prompted the tenants to take in guests.
Police said there were six additional children and two additional adults inside during the slayings who were not hit by the gunfire.
“This park is like a community. We want these people to understand that people in the park care,’’ Roxanne Freeman said. “Someone slapped evil inside my park. We don’t want evil in here.’’
She said that residents had no way to prevent the homicides and were shocked to have been awakened by the gunshots — or by police banging on their doors looking for clues.
“You can’t take the pain away,’’ Roxanne Freeman said, but the donations can help with family’s material needs.
The Freemans are taking donations at the office inside the park.