The woman found murdered inside the closet of a west Miami-Dade home had filed domestic violence claims against both her ex-husband and her current husband just seven months apart in 2010.
Miami-Dade Police said a tenant discovered the bodies of Gladys Sierra, 29, and her daughters, Julia Padrino, 6, and Daniela Padrino, 4, in her late grandfather's home in the 7300 block of NW 4th Street on Tuesday afternoon.
In the Homestead neighborhood where Sierra lived, people described her as a happy woman and good mother but questioned her choice of relationships.
The domestic violence claims
According to court records, Gladys Sierra filed the claims against ex-husband Michael Padrino, the children's father, and Alberto Sierra seven months apart.
In the claim against Padrino in March, Gladys claimed he became irate when she asked for her car back, called her stupid, and that he threatened "your kids are not going to have a mother anymore... I wish you would disappear." Court records show Padrino was late on child support and failed to get custody of his daughters because he feared for their safety around Sierra.
Padrino was at the home on Tuesday when Gladys' body was found.
In a petition against Sierra in October, Gladys claimed he bit her on the arm, slammed her against a closet, and took her gun out of her nightstand and threatened her.
Gladys left Sierra earlier this year and moved with her two daughters to her grandmother's home in Homestead. The couple had been married for a year.
Sierra has been convicted several times, including for selling cocaine and possession of a firearm. Last year, He was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Sierra was released from jail in June.
Police questioned Sierra late Wednesday and released him Thursday morning. He has not been named a suspect in the case.
Court records show a year before the couple married, Sierra was accused of assaulting Gladys. A stay away order was issued in court.
A student at the beauty school where Gladys worked as a receptionist was still stunned by the news Friday.
"Our school announced it. They came into our classrooms and let us know," said Ashley Rebollida. "We all were all shocked because we just saw her one day and the next day she's totally gone."
A principal at Julia Padrino's former elementary school said the girl told her teacher that her stepfather had bit her. The teacher notified the Department of Children and Families, which confirmed an investigation was started on the family.
Police said Gladys also has a 6-year-old son. The boy is now living with a family member.