CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) - A Charlotte mother missing for two weeks found dead and now arrest warrants are out for 44-year old Humberto Alvarez Mendoza for allegedly killing Nia Hantzopolous.
"We wish she was home. We were waiting for Christmas for the police to help us bring her home. We were waiting and she never came home," Nia Hantzopolous’ daughter Virginia Karras said.
The Hantzopolous family has known about Mendoza since day three of her going missing and friends that knew her told FOX 46 Charlotte Mendoza was infatuated with her.
"She was a very trusting and loving woman. And she would give you the shirt off her back. And unfortunately someone preyed upon that," Nia Hantzopolous’ friend Charles Prudhomme said.
The family told FOX 46 Charlotte police showed them surveillance video of Hantzopolous leaving the Goodwill store she used to frequent on the last day she was seen alive and then showed Mendoza following her out.
“We believe that's where she came in contact with him, we don't believe there was a relationship at all, that it was a chance meeting a couple of times at the store," Prudhomme said.
Friends that used to shop with Hantzopolous say it's wasn't a chance meeting. Mendoza used to come to the store and wait for her and even help Hantzopolous pick items for her business.
“How could he do this? How could he brutally hurt an innocent person for nothing? Was it worth it? How could he take our mother away and the beautiful person that worked so hard and loved her store and was working so hard to make her customers happy," Karras said.
Nia Hantzopolous' car was found in busy Ballantyne Common Plaza just a few miles from the Goodwill. Her 2005 Toyata Avalon parked there the entire time she has been missing.
"In a sense, she was a savior and saved others from this happening to them,” Hantzapolous’ granddaughter Xena Balaouras said.
"It's time to turn yourself in! You're not in custody yet but you are caught. Turn yourself in before something else happens," Prudhomme said.