With Mom's Death, San Jose Homicide Rate Hits 14-Year High

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Valerie Casillas' body was found Wednesday. She is the 34th homicide victim reported in San Jose this year.

    The murder of a San Jose mother whose body was found Wednesday is the city's 34th homicide of the year -- the most for a 12-month span since 1997, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

    That is, if Valerie Casillas, 29, was indeed killed in San Jose, as officials warn she could have been killed in Milpitas. She was last seen at 3 a.m. Sunday getting into a vehicle in East San Jose, and her body was found at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, police said.

    No arrests have been made. Police are mum on suspects, and have not said publicly how she died or where.

    The crime could eventually end up with the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, according to the newspaper, because Casillas was found on unincorporated land.

    San Jose's homicide rate this year "has spiked, seemingly out of nowhere," the newspaper reported. There were 20 homicides in 2010, and the city averaged 26 from the years 1998 to 2010. It's worth mentioning that a high-profile double-killing at San Jose State and a triple murder at a nightclub represent a good chunk of the total.