Loved ones gather for funeral of beheaded Zebulon mother

Yesenia Beatriz Funes-Machado (courtesy of Wendy Almendarez)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — At the Church on the Rock on Sunday, the seat where 35-year-old Yesenia Machado sat every week was empty.


“She was the kind of person that when you need something or you feel bad, she’s there,” said Pastor Williams Arzola of Iglesia Cristiana Ciudad de Dios.

Tuesday, loved ones gathered in Raleigh for Machado’s funeral. They said goodbye and they supported a family still in tremendous shock.

“The little babies are just calling, ‘Mom, where’s mom? I miss her, where is she?'” Arzola said.

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

Machado’s 18-year-old son, Oliver Funes-Machado, killed her in their Zebulon home last week, according to investigators.

The first deputy to arrive found him with a butcher knife in one hand and his mother’s head in the other, officials have said.

In a 911 call, the teen told police he killed his mom because he felt like it. The family’s pastor said he had very few interactions with Machado’s son.

“That kid was always quiet, never liked to come to church,” he said. “He just wanted to be alone in his room.”

But, he says, Machado always supported her son and tried to get him help.

“We have a hope,” he said. “Our hope is in God, and — thank God — she is in a better place,” he said.

Machado’s son is being held at Central prison, where officials are evaluating his mental health.


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