This past week, a 23-year-old pregnant woman was murdered as she was walking down a sidewalk in Anaheim with her husband.
An employee at Disneyland, Yesenia Lisette Aguilar, was hit last Tuesday evening by a Jeep SUV driven by Courtney Pandolfi, 40, who jumped the curve and drove along the sidewalk, Anaheim police said in a press release. Police say Aguilar’s husband was narrowly missed by the vehicle and uninjured.
Aguilar, who was about 35 weeks pregnant, was taken to the UCI Medical Center in the City of Orange and pronounced dead at the hospital.
While doctors were able to deliver her baby via cesarean and the newborn girl, named Adalyn Rose, was “admitted in critical condition to UCI’s neonatal intensive care unit,” police said.
Pandolfi was taken to the same hospital for minor injuries “before being placed under arrest for vehicular manslaughter, felony driving under the influence, and driving on a suspended license,” police said.
This past Wednesday, her charges were then upgraded to murder and driving under the influence of drugs causing bodily injury as well as the original driving on a suspended license charge.
Police say she has two previous DUI arrests.
Currently, Pandolfi is being held in the Orange County Jail on a $1 million bail, according to Anaheim police. It was not clear if Pandolfi had retained legal representation to comment on her behalf.
“We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of our cast member Yesenia Aguilar and we offer our deepest condolences to her family, friends and loved ones,” a Disneyland Resort spokesperson tells PEOPLE.
In addition, the company has reached out to Aguilar’s husband to offer support.
A GoFundMe campaign was created for Aguilar, and described her as “a beloved daughter, sister, wife, aunt and friend.”
“Yesenia was taken from our hands too soon,” the GoFundMe campaign said.
“We have lost her in the most tragic way, when a driver under the influence lost control and struck Yesenia. She was expecting a beautiful baby girl who has been born prematurely and fighting for her life. We ask you keep Adalyn Rose ( Yesenia’s daughter) and her family in your prayers. We also ask our friends and family to help by donating towards her funeral and medical costs to help cover the cost of the unforeseeable events.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, the campaign had raised $119,585, superseding its original $20,000 goal.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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