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Mom bound over to district court in daughter's death
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Mom bound over to district court in daughter's death

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ELKO – An Elko mother accused of strangling her adult daughter was bound over to district court on Wednesday.

Judith I. Zavala, 61, was bound over on one felony count of open murder by Judge Elias Goicoechea in Elko Justice Court.

She was arrested June 15, one day after police were called to her residence on a report of an unassisted death.

April Heather Zavala was 24 at the time of her death. An autopsy conducted by the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office stated she was strangled.

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According to the police report, Zavala said her daughter was a high-functioning autistic.

Zavala told investigators in recent months her daughter became unmanageable and would not communicate, having “fits and outbursts.”

She told police she was “exhausted and overwhelmed,” on the afternoon of April’s death as she tried to get her daughter out of bed and dressed. Zavala said when April refused help, she “snapped” and strangled her daughter.

Zavala is represented by the Elko County Public Defender’s Office. An arraignment date in district court is pending.

She remains in custody at the Elko County Jail without bail.

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