Authorities on Tuesday released the name of the woman who was struck by a vehicle and fatally injured in Montecito last week in an incident being investigated as a homicide.
The victim was Blanca Aguilera, 32, of Oxnard, according to Raquel Zick, public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives believe that Aguilera — who also goes by the last name Espinoza — was intentionally hit by the vehicle’s driver, Zick said, and that the suspect and victim were known to each other.
Deputies responded to the 800 block of East Mountain Drive at about 5:35 a.m. Thursday to the report of a woman heard screaming.
They found Aguilera with serious injuries in the roadway. She was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries about two hours later, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators have a suspect in the case, but have not released any information about that person, including a description.
They also have not released any information about how the driver and victim knew each other.
No one had been arrested in the case as of Tuesday afternoon, Zick said.
An autopsy reportedly was performed on Aguilera on Tuesday, but no details from that were released.
However, according to a GoFundMe page set up to pay for burial expenses and benefit her family, Aguilera was the single mother of three boys, ages 16, 12 and 8.
“Sadly and tragically, she was kidnapped by her ex while she was leaving work late at night on 9/28/2022,” according to the GoFundMe page. “She was found by police on 9/29/2022 severely injured and unfortunately passed away at the hospital due to her injuries.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, the GoFundMe had raised $5,145 of a $20,000 goal.
The 800 block of East Mountain Drive is near the Cold Spring trailhead and residential homes in the foothills of Montecito.
— Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.