A Farmersville mother who went missing was found dead last week and will be buried by her husband and three children this Friday.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Hermalinda “Linda” Enriquez Lara will be held at 6 p.m. tomorrow, July 10 at Iglesia Del Nazareno Church, located at 419 S. Kern Ave. in Farmersville. The 43-year-old woman will be buried at 6 p.m. on July 11 at the Exeter District Cemetery. Since hearing the traggic news of her passing, Linda’s family has been holding car washes every day at the corner of Farmersville Boulevard and Visalia Road in order to raise enough money to give her a proper burial. Today, July 9, is the last day they will hold the car wash.
“She was a good lady with a good heart,” said Efrain Lara, Jr., Linda’s 17-year-old son. “She didn’t care about how much money you had or where you came from, she would do anything for anyone.”
Efrain’s friend Nester Guadalupe said when he fell on hard times and did not have any money or a place to go, Linda invited him to stay at her house, even though the Lara’s had financial problems of their own.
“She opened her doors for everybody and opened her heart to everyone,” Guadalupe said. “She showed me that even if you don’t have much, you have enough to share with others.”
Linda’s 1995 Nissan Altima was found on June 30 submerged in the Friant-Kern Canal at a bridge crossing on Avenue 282. The vehicle was discovered by a canal maintenance worker on his daily route at about 2 p.m. The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team discovered an adult female body inside while recovering the vehicle. On July 1, the Coroner’s Office identified the body as Linda, who had been missing since June 24.
According to the Farmersville Police Department, the family became concerned when she drove away on June 24 without her purse or cell phone and did not return later that day. The cause of death is pending toxicology results which could take at least another week. Preliminary examination of the body showed no obvious signs of foul play. Krstic said the Sheriff’s Department is handling the investigation into Linda’s death while the Farmersville Police Department is handling information regarding the missing person’s case.
“I wouldn’t speculate as to the cause of the accident until after we receive the toxicology report,” Krstic said. “At this point the case is being treated as a suspicious death until there is evidence otherwise.”
Family members gathered to remember Hermalinda at barbecue at her apartment on Rose Avenue last week. Efrain said his mother always looked forward to family barbecues. Family members said everyone knew her for her kindness and strong sense of responsibility. Efrain Lara, Sr. said his wife graduated from Exeter Union High School in 1990. She served in the U.S. Army before being medically discharged for health issues. Upon her discharge she and Efrain decided to start their family. They were married for 28 years and have three children – Efrain, Jr., 21-year-old Bianca and 4-year-old Julia.
“She was the best person I’ve ever met in this world,” said Efrain, Sr. “She had open arms to everyone she met.”
Efrain said his mother had been a little depressed because “she felt like the weight of the world was on her shoulders.” He said she always went out of her way to help others but never took time to take care of herself.
“I remember when we would rent movies and eat pizza every Friday night,” he said. “Or she would take trips to the lake or Las Vegas. Things were easier then.”
In addition to her husband and three children, Linda is survived by her father Porfirio Enriquez, her sister Maria Silveria Enriquez, and her husband Mario Dorame, her brother Porfirio Enriquez, Jr., and his wife Angie Marie Enriquez. She was predeceased by her mother Maria Enriquez who passed away in 2010. She is also survived by her aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins who will miss her dearly.
“She was just a wonderful person and a great mother,” Efrain, Jr. said. “There will never be another woman like her.”
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a memorial account in her name at Bank of the Sierra in Farmersville.
Farmersville Police Department Press Release UPDATE 07/02/2014
LOCATION: DATE: TIME:
CASE NUMBER: VICTIM: CITY:
Case #: 14-0836
Date / Time: June 24, 2014
Incident: Missing Adult
Hermalinda Enriquez Lara
Location: Missing from 370 S. Rose, Apt. D in Farmersville, CA
Vehicle: 1995 Nissan Altima, Black, CA Lic. 7CDB898