Family and friends gather to remember slain Zebulon mother

Yesenia Beatriz Funes-Machado (courtesy of Wendy Almendarez)


ZEBULON, N.C. (WNCN) — “You don’t expect it to happen in your family,” said Ariana Banegas. “It’s not something anyone deserves to feel or go through.”

Earlier this week, her friend, 35-year-old Yesenia Machado was killed by her son, Oliver Funes-Machado, 18, according to investigators. He cut off her head, then called 911 to report the crime, authorities have said.

CLICK FOR 16 PHOTOS OF THE SUSPECT AND SCENE

“It’s just like a big shock, because growing up with him, he was really obedient to his parents,” said Diana Manzanres, a family friend.

Friday evening, they and dozens of others gathered at the family’s Morgan Drive home. Family, friends and neighbors tried to comfort one another. They prayed. And they collected money in the hopes of sending Machado’s remains back to Honduras, her native land.

“She was an amazing woman, loved to dance, very social,” remembered family friend Soad Manzanres.

The Bunn High School soccer team was at the vigil in full force, on hand to show support for Machado-Funes’ younger brother, who plays for the team.

“I’m sad to see a friend going through this,” said Edson Servin, a junior at the school. “I don’t think nobody should really go through this.””

Donations can be made here or at Wells Fargo Bank branches to account No. 1502806985 in the name of Walter Funez, the husband of the victim.

RELATED: Warrant: Zebulon beheading suspect said he killed mom ‘because I felt like it’
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