Delano

Police seek tips, family wants answers in death of Delano woman

Police seek tips, family wants answers in death of Delano woman »Play Video

DELANO, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — The victim's body was found, but now the search ramps up to find out how she died. On Thursday, Delano police said detectives were back at the canal where the body of Erika Lango was found this week, two months after she disappeared.

Her aunt has mixed emotions. "I feel sad and I feel good," Maria Guerrero said. "I feel very sad, but I'm still happy because I tell you, the nightmare that's finished," she said. The nightmare of just not knowing anything, she said.

The body of the young mother was pulled from the Friant-Kern Canal east of Delano on Tuesday. She had disappeared from the family's apartment the night of Oct. 9. Loved ones had searched in various areas, with no sign of Lango.

The aunt says she had prayed every day. "I said, 'Please, our Lady, you know where she is. Bring her to us, alive or dead.'"

Lango's mother told Eyewitness News she wants to know what Delano police are doing to find out what happened.

"We're looking into a couple leads that we currently have," Commander Raul Alvizo said. He would not say much more about the investigation. "There were some suspicious injuries," he said, but wouldn't provide details. Alvizo also wouldn't say anything about possible suspects.

Lango was reportedly last seen leaving the family apartment to walk to a friend's house. Earlier in the evening, she'd been spotted in a Delano convenience store with her husband, Julio Lango.

When asked about the husband, Alvizo said he "was cooperating." The commander added, "I understand now he has an attorney."

The victim has four small children, and her aunt said Lango worked hard as a dental assistant. And, she was a happy person. "All the time, she was smiling," Guerrero said. "She's never mad."

The Kern County Coroner's office positively identified Lango as the victim in the canal, but the report says "the cause and manner of death are pending additional studies."

Maria Guerrero wants to know exactly that. "What happened? How she died?" she asks.

The police commander says detectives hope the public can help the investigation. "We are doing everything we can," Alvizo said. "Following every lead that we have, looking for additional evidence in this case. We'll not rest until we have the person, or persons, who are culpable in this case, and bring them to justice."

Anyone with information is urged to call Delano police at (661) 721-3356.