The family of a deceased California woman has created a crowdfunding page to help brighten a difficult Christmas for her bereaved children. The mother was found dead in a canyon in early December with her corpse partially eaten by a mountain lion.
On Dec. 18, Ricardo Decarlo established a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for the three children of his sister-in-law, Yinshan 'Michelle' Wong of Sacramento, California.
On Dec. 3, the 33-year-old Wong disappeared at the American River Canyon in Auburn after phoning her husband, Santino Zamora. She reportedly was not coherent during their conversation.
"[Zamora] was confused [as to] as to what she was talking about ... It's possible she may have just decided to call it quits and run off," Decarlo, Zamora's brother, told The Sacramento Bee.
Decarlo added that Wong had been suffering from depression for some time.
On Dec. 6, searchers found Wong's body in the canyon. It remains unclear exactly how she died. A mountain lion had eaten portions of her body, but the animal was not considered responsible for the incident as investigators determined that it did not begin eating Wong until after she died.
"It's just so sad," said spokesperson Dena Erwin of the Placer County Sheriff's Office. "Much of it will remain a mystery."
Decarlo created his GoFundMe page to help Zamora provide a spectacular Christmas to his children, Tino, Noah and Bella.
"These poor children's lives have been completely turned upside down," Decarlo wrote. "And the life they knew has been suddenly stripped away and will never be the same again. It's hard to imagine what life will be like for them going forward."
Decarlo noted that the three children had already been bereaved earlier in 2017 after the losses and estrangement of their grandparents Mayra Zamora and Lorenzo Guzman. In February, Mayra passed away from a heart attack at 55 years old. In May, Lorenzo was deported from the U.S. to Mexico.
"Lorenzo along with Mayra were very involved with the children and again the children had to deal with another devastating loss," Decarlo said.
The uncle urged charitable donors to chip in to help treat the three kids during the holidays.
"Our goal as a family is to take the children’s minds off of the horrible tragedies for just a moment and provide them with the best possible Christmas that we can," Decarlo wrote.
The uncle set the fundraising goal to $1,000. By Dec. 20, donations had already reached $2,336.