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Deputies recover slain family's car

The Jeep Cherokee, found 70 miles from the scene, will be processed for evidence.

Published October 17, 2006

WEST PALM BEACH - Authorities on Monday found the vehicle belonging to a family of four who were shot to death along Florida's Turnpike last week.

The 1998 four-door black Jeep Cherokee was discovered about 8:45 a.m. in an industrial section of West Palm Beach, about 70 miles south of where the shootings occurred, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara said.

The vehicle was towed to the Sheriff's Office in Fort Pierce to be processed for evidence.

The bodies of the husband, wife and two boys, ages 3 and 4, were found Friday along the turnpike in Port St. Lucie. Investigators think their Jeep pulled to the side of the highway before someone else in the vehicle shot them and drove off between 1:30 and 3 a.m.

The victims appeared to be lying down or kneeling when they were shot, Mascara said last week. Yessica Guerrero Escobedo, 25, was clutching her two sons in an apparent effort to protect them. Her husband, Jose Luis Escobedo, who was to turn 29 on Saturday, was shot nearby. Both the mother and father suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

The bodies were discovered by a passer-by in a grassy area along the highway.

No one has been arrested in the case, and a motive for the shootings was not yet known. Authorities searched the couple's home in Greenacres in Palm Beach County on Friday, but they have not revealed any evidence that might have been discovered.

The family moved to Palm Beach County several months ago from the Brownsville, Texas, area. Family members in Texas said the couple were high school sweethearts who married about three years ago.

Monica Moreno, Yessica Guerrero Escobedo's aunt, said they were working with crime victims' services to get all four bodies back to Texas for burial.

Neighbors along the street where the couple lived, just outside West Palm Beach, said the Escobedos kept to themselves.

[Last modified October 17, 2006, 01:50:03]

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