Carmina Salcido this morning will place flowers on the graves of her mother, two sisters and three other relatives in Petaluma, marking the 20th anniversary of her father?s murderous rampage that shocked and enraged the community.
Carmina, who turns 23 next week, is the lone female member of her family to survive Ramon Salcido?s horrifying crimes of April 14, 1989, which sent the former Sonoma Valley winery worker to Death Row at San Quentin Prison.
As the nation reels from a recent series of mass killings and child murders, including that of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu of Tracy, friends and law enforcement officers still struggle to make sense of the Salcido family tragedy.
Ramon Salcido: A look back
PC: Ramon Salcido, on San Quentin's Death Row for the 1989 mass murder of seven people in Sonoma County. Photo provided by San Quentin.
3/15/00: Ramon Salcido
7/6/2003: A6: Ramon Salcido
11/5/2005:A1: Ramon Salcido's three daughters, from left: Sofia, 4; Carmina, 2; and Teresa, 22 months. Carmina survived her father's attack in April 1989, lying with her sisters' bodies at a dump for a day and a half before being discovered.
PC: Ramon Salcido's three daughters, from left: Sofia, 4; Carmina, nearly 3; and Teresa, 22 months. Only Carmina survived their father's throat-slitting attack.
11/5/2005:A13: Tracy Toovey, assistant winemaker at Grand Cru Winery in Glen Ellen, was shot to death by Salcido.
PC: Tracy Toovey, assistant winemaker at Grand Cru Winery in Glen Ellen, who was shot to death April 14, 1989 by winery worker Ramon Salcido.
11/5/2005:A1: Carmina Cecilia Richards, 19, shows the scar left when her father, Ramon Salcido, cut her throat and left her for dead with her two sisters at a Sonoma County dump in 1989. Richards, formerly Carmina Salcido, was the only one of the three girls to survive and has come back to California to talk about her experiences.
1 of 1--Carmina Cecilia Richards, 19, shows the scar across her throat her father, Ramon Salcido, gave her when he cut her throat and left her and her two sisters for dead at a southern Sonoma county dump in 1989. Richards, formerly Carmina Salcido, was the only survivor and has come forward to talk of her experiences. The Press Democrat/John Burgess
Sheriff's Department investigator Dave Edmonds, center, puts protective covers on his shoes before entering the Cotati home where Ramon Salcido killed his mother-in-law and her two younger daughters in 1989. Edmonds, who is still with the Sheriff's Department today, was one of the lead investigators on the Salcido case. Press Democrat file photo.
Sonoma County Sheriff's deputies investigate the shooting scene at Grand Cru Winery on April 14, 1989 where Ramon Salcido killed his seventh victim, assistant winemaker Tracy Toovey. Press Democrat file photo / Mark Aronoff
4/21/1989: Ramon Salcido is escorted off a private jet by Sonoma County Sheriff's deputies after his arrival April 21, 1989 from Mexico, where he had fled after murdering seven people including his wife and two of his three daughters. Press Democrat file photo / Tim Baker
11/5/2005:A13: Angela Salcido was 24 when she was killed by her husband, Ramon.
PC: Angela Salcido was 24 when she was killed by her husband, Ramon. B&W file photo.
?It?ll never work,? said Mike Brown of Santa Rosa, a retired Sheriff?s Department captain who headed the investigation of Sonoma County?s largest mass killing. ?There isn?t going to be a rational explanation.?
Carmina, who was raised by adoptive parents in Missouri and returned to Sonoma Valley in 2005, will not speak at today?s ceremony and is not granting interviews now, said Gloria Allred, her Los Angeles attorney.
Her throat cut nearly ear to ear, Carmina survived for about a day and a half after her father dumped her and her sisters, Teresa, 1, and Sofia, 4, at a refuse site on Stage Gulch Road east of Petaluma.
?Daddy cut me,? she told a hospital nurse.
Salcido, then a 28-year-old winery worker, slashed the throats of his three daughters, his mother-in-law and her two daughters, 12 and 8, who also were molested. He shot to death his wife and a winery co-worker and wounded his boss.
Patricia Rile, former owner of a Santa Rosa dress shop and modeling school, recalled the anxiety the community suffered during the manhunt for Salcido, who was arrested near his hometown of Los Mochis, Mexico, five days after the killings.
?I was scared to death,? said Rile, who was drawn into the case because Angela Salcido had completed a class at Covers, her modeling school. Even now, Rile remains wary that Ramon Salcido may have friends in the area.