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Police investigate death of KCK mother found dead in her home

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Kansas City, Kan. Police identified the woman found dead Monday morning from a gunshot wound.

Friends and loved ones of a Erica Rippetoe, 31, are finding it hard to understand why.

"Our friend was a loving mother of four young kids. She didn't deserve what's happened to her," said Sandy Yoakum.

Yoakum says her Rippetoe lived in a two-story house near Miami Avenue and South 9th Street for less than a year with her 19-month-old baby girl.  Rippetoe also had three other children who range from ages four to 12.

Police say around 11:30 Monday morning a man called 911 and said he found her dead in her living room. She had been shot to death.

"She was a very good person and nothing but goodness in her heart," said Sandy Yoakum, who along with several other friends, stopped by the crime scene Monday afternoon.

Police say there weren't any obvious signs of forced entry to the home nor do they know how long the woman was dead.  On Monday the victim's friends said they didn't believe the woman's baby was home at the time of her mother's violent death, however Tuesday police said the baby was there during the incident, but wasn't harmed.  Friends tell FOX 4 the woman's father is now caring for her daughter.

Meantime, friends also say detectives are talking to the woman's boyfriend, who may be in custody right now. Late Monday afternoon a police spokesman had not yet confirmed that for FOX 4.

Investigators urge anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area recently to call the Kansas City Kansas Police Department or the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.

"I just hope whoever did that to her is caught. She was like a step-daughter to me. It's very horrible," said Theresa Rodriguez, who says she is also a friend of the victim.

Miami Ave homicide

Miami Ave homicide