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Woman strangled in south valley, police seeking son in case

Police are hunting for a man detectives said strangled his mother in the south valley Thursday.

Police were called to check on the woman at 12:22 p.m. at the Copper Creek apartments, 9400 of Bermuda Road, near Serene Avenue.

David Dinunzio, 36, had made a few phone calls to friends and family members earlier in the morning that led to a police welfare check, Metro Lt. Dan McGrath said.

“He said ‘Mom’s not doing so good’ or ‘I did something to mom’ or something to that effect,” McGrath said.

Officers arrived to find her front door unlocked, and the woman, described in her 60s, was dead. Dinunzio was nowhere to be found, but police said his clothes and belongings were still at the apartment.

McGrath said Dinunzio has an “extensive” history of domestic violence and drug use. Las Vegas Justice Court records show that Dinunzio plead guilty in 2005 to a reduced drug possession charge for which he was ordered to get drug counseling and go to rehab.

Dinunzio’s mother had a prior restraining order against him, but she recently allowed him to stay with her again, McGrath said.

“We’re hearing that she wanted him back out again,” McGrath said. “It’s shocking that somebody would do that to their own mother.”

Police were still searching for Dinunzio Thursday night. He’s been described as 5-feet-4-inches tall and about 145 pounds. It is likely he is still be in the valley somewhere, because he doesn’t drive, police said.

There’s no easy solution to domestic violence, but McGrath said resources are available. First responders are trained to give out referral cards to resources, including North Las Vegas’ Shade Tree women’s shelter. But everyone in the community has to get involved to prevent these kinds of tragedies.

“These are people, and these are families, and these are victims. They are really traumatized,” he said. “It’s not just police. It’s everybody. People need to reach out.”

Metro is asking anyone with information on Dinunzio’s location to contact its Homicide Section at 702-828-3521 or [email protected].

Review-Journal writer Chris Kudialis contributed to this report. Contact Wesley Juhl at 702-383-0391 or [email protected]. Find him on Twitter: @WesJuhl.

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