A young California mom tragically died after she was run over by a lawnmower while sleeping in a park, with her devastated family sharing that they found 'chunks" of her remains afterward. Christine Chavez, 27, was lying in a weed-covered section of Beard Brook Park in Modesto on July 8 when she was run over by a park employee operating a lawnmower.
The grass cutter, operating a John Deere tractor with a pull-behind mower, tragically discovered Chavez's body only after accidentally mowing over her. He claimed that he didn't see Chavez lying in the grass before the incident. Police have launched an investigation into the case.
Killed in Her Sleep
The unidentified worker said he didn't see the sleeping woman until he "noticed a body in the grass he had already made a pass through," Modesto police said.
After the tragic accident, the employee immediately called 911 for help. However, despite the prompt response, Chavez was pronounced dead at the scene.
Her family later said that their grief has been compounded by what they call a disrespectful and mishandled clean-up process in the wake of the devastating incident. The family claims they found chunks of her remains on the grass.
"They left big chunks of her all over the place, just covered up with the grass," the victim's sister Rosalinda told Fox 40.
"We have to go see the place because we wanted some kind of closure, and to be right there, looking at the ground, and then all of a sudden, seeing chunks of her, is horrible."
"Even when they go and pick up a dog from the street they take more time."
Christopher Chavez, the father of Christine, revealed that in the days following her death, he discovered fragments of her bones, skull, and teeth, which he was able to collect.
The family strongly believes that the botched cleaning of her remains may have been influenced by the fact that she was one of the many homeless residents in the city.
The heartbreaking revelation has added to the family's pain and distress as they mourn the loss of their loved one.
Christine Chavez, who was a mother to a 9-year-old daughter, had been living transiently for the past three or four years. She frequently slept at Beard Brook Park, which was officially acquired by the nearby E&J Gallo Winery on the day before her tragic death, as reported by the Modesto Bee.
The 12-acre Beard Brook Park has been a popular spot for the homeless, and it was formerly an authorized camping area for the local homeless community before the ownership changed.
According to accounts from other homeless individuals, they recall seeing Chavez washing her hair in the park's creek before settling down to sleep on a hill close to the playground and baseball field.
Tragically, just twenty minutes later, the lawnmower passed through the area, resulting in the devastating accident that claimed her life.
Chavez's family is now demanding justice for their beloved lost one. They are advocating for stronger city ordinances that prioritize the protection and safety of the homeless in the community.
"She didn't deserve that for that reason, for being homeless," said her older brother Randy Chavez, 33, of Arizona. "My sister was loved. The only thing she wanted was to be free."
"We want ordinances to change so it doesn't happen again. Regardless if they are homeless they are still people and should be treated the same as any other people."