Affidavit reveals more details about suspect’s arrest

ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- 46-year-old Jose Antonio Sarinana is behind bars after being charged with Murder in the stabbing death of a 46-year-old mother from Lamesa. Cynthia Mendoza was found Monday afternoon dead inside a motel room at Parkway Inn just off E Highway 80. 

According to an affidavit, earlier on Monday, officers with the Odessa Police Department responded to a home on Garden Lane after homeowners found a black backpack near their backyard containing a bloody knife and bloody clothes. A short time later, officers were called to Parkway Inn after a motel employee found Mendoza dead inside her room; she had been stabbed “repeatedly”, according to court documents. 

Investigators said Mendoza and an unidentified suspect were caught on camera entering the motel room and that the couple could be heard arguing in the video. A short while later, the suspect was seen leaving the room and police said no one else entered or exited the room until maid service entered Monday afternoon. While processing the scene at Parkway Inn, officers lifted fingerprints off the victim’s vehicle; those prints led police straight to Sarinana, who was a match for the person caught on security video. 

Sarinana was later found and taken to the Ector County Law Enforcement Center where he remained as of Tuesday afternoon on a $500,000 bond. 

Now, family and friends of the victim are speaking out about their loved one, saying this never should have happened. They told us Mendoza and her killer were in a romantic relationship, and she was trying to “get away” from Sarinana in the days before her death.

“I just wish that this didn’t happen to her, she didn’t deserve none of this…I pray for all her family and her friends,” said friend Sandra Iglesias. 

“I would like to take this chance to say thank you to Cynthia, just for brightening our days with your shy smile; you were beautiful inside and out. I want to thank you for the wonderful love you gave so freely. We feel cheated that you were taken so violently from us,” said Mendoza’s cousin Lawrence Casarez. 

Mendoza leaves behind three children, and her family said it will be hard because she loved her children so selflessly. 

“She was a beautiful woman, inside and out…a lot of people are missing her because she was such a good person. She was a single mom…she loved her kids, and she always worked hard to support for her kids,” said her friend Rachael Baltazar. 

“She was trying to change her ways…like anybody else, you know. She found her way back to God all the time, trying to get things together with her babies,” said her cousin Isabel Casarez. “I just can’t believe she’s gone.”