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Frostproof Teacher Murdered by Her Own Son in Stabbing Attack

"inexplicable" Attack Apparently Unprovoked, Pre-Meditated


The horrifying murder of a second grade teacher has shocked residents of Frostproof and the surrounding area.

Elvia Espinoza, who taught second grade at Ben Hill Griffin Elementary School in Frostproof, was stabbed to death by her own son after he returned home from college for a family gathering.

Espinoza, 46, was attacked after opening the door to her home in the Sun Ray neighborhood her son, 21-year-old Emmanuel Espinoza, who had just arrived after driving from Gainesville, where he was reportedly a a pre-med student at the University of Florida.

Courtesy Polk Sheriff's Office

Elvia Espinoza, 46, was a second grade teacher at Ben Hill Griffin Elementary School in Frostproof.

According to Polk Sheriff's investigators, the murder happened just after 2 p.m. on Saturday. Investigators were told that Elvia was eager to see her son, who had been away from home at the university, and had even offered to drive to Gainesville to bring him home. Instead, he told her he would drive down and asked to spend the night at her home, but when he arrived there, he immediately attacked his mother, pursuing her into the home and stabbing her at least 70 times. When she fell, he continued to stab her as she called out his name.

Elvia Espinoza was reportedly speaking to another family member on the telephone when she was attacked. She was deceased when EMS arrived to help.

After the killing, Espinoza himself called 911 and reported what he had done, telling the operator that "I just stabbed my mom." He subsequently confessed to investigators. He has been charged with first-degree murder.

Courtesy Polk Sheriff's Office

Manny Espinoza, 21, was the Valedictorian of his graduating class at Frostproof High School, and was enrolled as a pre-med student at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He has been charged with first-degree murder.

After being arrested, Espinoza reportedly told investigators that he had wanted to kill his mother "for many, many years" because "she got on my nerves," according to Sheriff Grady Judd. He also told investigators that he had a good relationship with his mother and "loved her." Judd called the murder "vicious, inexplicable."

Courtesy Polk Sheriff's Office

In this photo captured via screenshot from the Polk Sheriff's Facebook page, Manny Espinoza can be seen concealing a two-inch pocketknife behind his back as he waits for his mother to open the door to her home.

The murder of the well-liked teacher has left her students and colleagues at the school, as well as her family and friends, in shock. Polk County Schools issued a statement calling her "a very special part of her school family."

The school system has provided counselors to staff and students at Frostproof Middle/Senior High School where she had worked for more than a decade.

"Her students and colleagues greatly loved her, and her sudden, unexpected death is a devastating loss," the statement said.

Lake Wales News has published her obituary which is viewable here.


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