Mother of Motel Murder Victim: "She's Not a Prostitute" - NBC4 Washington

Mother of Motel Murder Victim: "She's Not a Prostitute"



    News4's Darcy Spencer spoke to the family of Catina Cortes, who was found dead in a Prince George's County motel room. (Published Saturday, June 7, 2014)

    The mother of a woman shot and killed in a College Park, Md., motel says her daughter was not a prostitute but had a hard life and was easy to prey upon.

    Catina Cortes, 25, agreed to meet a man at the Ramada Inn on Baltimore Avenue for sex, investigators say. Police were called to the motel Tuesday afternoon when an employee found her body in a second-floor room.

    “I was told that my daughter was shot in the heart and that she had no pain,” her mother said. “That’s what was reported to me at the time. How do you take that?”

    Vaughn D. Bellamy, 23, of northeast D.C. is charged with first- and second-degree murder and a gun charge. Barry Foxx, 24, of Temple Hills, Md., is charged with accessory after the fact, accused of driving Bellamy to and from the hotel.

    Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

    Diane Cortes says her daughter had a tough life. She was abducted and gang raped as a child and suffered from bipolar disorder, Cortes said.

    “I just wanted everybody to know who she is and why she’s doing what she’s doing,” Cortes said. “She’s not a prostitute. She is a victim of disability and mental illness.”

    Her daughter was too trusting, Cortes said, and didn't see the dangers in things she did. She said friends convinced her daughter that getting paid for sex was a regular job.

    “They actually almost like pimped her, at first – had her do the sex and they would do the computer, and she told me about this and I said, ‘Catina, you’ve got to get away from that. You can’t do that,’” Cortes said.

    Police said Friday that they previously tried to help Catina Cortes, but her mother says that never happened.

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