By Carlos Villatoro, NapaNet Daily News (Napa, Calif.)
The murders of Adriane Michelle Insogna and Leslie Ann Mazzara, both 26, have caused ripples of worry that have stretched far beyond where the crimes took place. On Sunday, those ripples made their way to the Latinos who attend mass at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.
Napa Police Chief Rich Melton, Cmdr. Steve Potter and members of the Napa County Hispanic Network were at Sunday's Spanish service talking with the 350 or more Spanish-speaking parishioners about the crimes and asking for their assistance.
"We need to incorporate all of the community to help," Melton said. "It's very important for us to get all the information that we can to help solve the murders."
At a similar discussion Saturday inside Harvest Middle School's multi-purpose room, police addressed a crowd that consisted of roughly 400 residents who live on Dorset Street and the surrounding neighborhoods. Potter said they didn't get a good representation of the community at that meeting, so they partnered up with the NCHN to further get the word out about the investigation.
After Sunday's mass most parishioners, including 27-year-old Adriana Arriaga, stayed to hear an update.
"It's an awful tragedy," Arriaga said. "I am just sad all the time. It confirmed my own mortality in a way."
Arriaga said that Insogna and Mazzara were around her age and is concerned about her safety and is now keeping her eyes open for anything suspicious.
Melton told parishioners that they need to keep safe by locking their doors and windows, talking with neighbors and police and reporting any suspicious activity. After the discussion some residents chatted with Melton and Potter and asked them about problems they were having, which were unrelated to the murders.
"I'm happy that they are actually here," Arriaga said. "Sometimes language is a barrier and they (Latinos) don't know how to communicate with the city."
Frances Ortiz-Chavez, president of NCHN and member of the Napa Valley Unified School District's Board of Education, translated for Melton and Potter, who don't speak Spanish.
"They (Latinos) are concerned just like we all are," she said.
Napa's Westwood neighborhood may not be where the crimes occurred, Ortiz-Chavez said, but she said people in the area are troubled by the crimes.
Rocio Ayvar, 31, lives nowhere near the crime scene, but said she's nervous just the same.
"It just doesn't happen in a place like this," she said.
Mazzara, a former beauty queen who worked in the sales division at Niebaum-Coppola Winery in Rutherford, and Insogna, a Napa Sanitation District engineer, were stabbed to death inside their home at 2631 Dorset St., Monday around 2 a.m. A surviving roommate was woken up by the sounds of a struggle coming from the upstairs of the two-story home. She was able to get away and call 911.
Police officials have confirmed that there was forced entry into the home and the person who is responsible for the crimes knew the victims. The Napa Police Department has not identified a suspect or a motive.
As of Sunday afternoon, the neighborhood was still cordoned off as police processed the crime scene. Melton said they hope to release the crime scene sometime next week.
He said the police want to talk with anyone who knew Insogna or Mazzara, had contact with them prior to the crimes, or saw or heard anything suspicious on the eve of the murders. He also urged the parishioners to look out for anyone who may be acting overly anxious, may have unexplainable cuts or bruises on them, or has had some type of disruption to their daily patterns.