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‘It’s a nightmare’: Family remembering victims of Moorhead tragedy

Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 7:28 PM CST
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MOORHEAD, Minn. (Valley News Live) - Monday would have marked Belin Hernandez and Marleny Pinto’s 17th wedding anniversary. Now their family members are left with more questions than answers after the couple and their three children Breylin, Mike, and Marbley Hernandez were found dead in their south Moorhead home. Belin’s brother 32-year-old Eldor Hernandez Castillo and Marleny’s niece 19-year-old Mariela Guzman Pinto were also found dead inside the home on December 18th.

The family moved from Honduras to Minnesota in 2013. Wilfredo Pinto, Marleny’s brother, lived across town. He tells us he spent every moment he could with his sister and her family.

“My sister Marleny was a very special sister, very kind,” said Pinto, “She had a lot of good qualities.”

He said his nieces Breylin and Marbely and his nephew Mike could play outside for hours, no matter the season.

“The little children liked to play outside in the snow,” said Pinto, “They liked to ride their bikes and skateboards to the little park.”

Pinto’s wife, Nolvia Riveria, says it’s especially hard as their sudden deaths come just seven days before Christmas.

“On Wednesday I was wrapping all of the gifts for all of the kids,” she said through tears.

Pinto said he can’t begin to describe the pain he is feeling after losing so many loved ones.

“It’s something that I don’t have,” said Pinto, “For me, it’s a big hit because I don’t have an explanation. I feel that I don’t know how I’m going to get over it.”

The children attended Moorhead schools. The district says counselors, social workers and administrators are focused on supporting students and staff with the loss.

Moorhead Police have said autopsy results of the seven don’t show any obvious trauma. Blood samples of all of the victims have been sent to a lab for further investigation.

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