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Police still searching for suspects in murder of Virginia mother 8 years later

Eight years ago, Glenda Marisol Coca-Romero was murdered at the Platanillos Grocery and Jewelry store in Woodbridge.

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Editor's note: The above video is from Feb. 21, 2020.

Eight years after the murder of a woman in a Woodbridge grocery store, police and the FBI are still searching for who is responsible. 

Investigators are offering a $20,000 reward for anyone with information in connection to the murder of Marisol Coco-Romero, who was killed on Feb. 21, 2014, at the former Platanillos Grocery and Jewelry store located in the Woodbridge area of Prince William County.

The shooting happened just before 9 p.m. at 14342 Jefferson Davis Highway. A second female store clerk was also shot during the incident and has since recovered.

The Prince William County Police Department released video surveillance footage that showed three men, dressed in all dark-colored clothing with their faces covered, entering the store and proceeding directly to the county where Coco-Romero and the other employee were shot during the altercation. The suspects left the business and have not been found.

While she wanted to keep her identity concealed out of safety concerns, the second female store clerk spoke to WUSA9 about the night of the shooting.

She said they were getting ready to close.

"It happened so fast that I didn't have time to understand," she said through the help of a translator. "It's an experience that's hard to let go."

A customer and a third employee were in the store at the time of the shooting, but were not hurt, according to police. 

The three suspects were in the store for less than 20 seconds. No money or property was taken, police said.

"It was really scary but with the little strength that I had, I crawled to her and told her everything was going to be alright," the second store clerk said. 

Coco-Romero was only 21 at the time of the shooting, and was living in America for just over a year when she was killed. She came to the country from El Salvador. 

Coco-Romero left behind a 10-month-old girl. The second store clerk has been taking care of her daughter who is now almost 9 years old. She admitted it is hard to determine when to let Coco-Romero's daughter know what truly happened.

"[Marisol] was like any young adult," she added. "She was so bright and happy, and her life was just starting. She was trying to make something for herself and her new baby."

The Prince William County Police Department remains the lead agency in this investigation with the FBI providing investigative assistance. 

"Marisol was a young woman, she came to this country to work, and she didn't deserve to die the way she did," said Ivania Castillo in 2020, a friend who saw Coca-Romero at her grocery store every week. "She was a good mother, a good person, and the whole community misses her. The people who killed her have caused so much pain and suffering to the community, it's not fair. They're still living their life, and Marisol didn't get to raise her daughter."

The motive remains unclear. Police are still investigating if this was targeted or random.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Prince William County Police at 703-792-7000 or by submitting an online tip at pwcva.gov/policetip. Anonymous tips can also be submitted to the FBI at tips.fbi.gov.

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