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An American mother-of-three was shot dead by robbers who invaded her farm in Ecuador, where she and her husband built their own ‘humble Shangri-La.’
Francesca Williams, from Poway, California, she was shot in the back – near her heart – as the group of men tied down and beat up her husband, stabbed her father, and terrorized her three young daughters while they rummaged through their home.
The five surviving family members ‘endured horrendous trauma’ following the invasion, in which Francesca – remembered as the ‘light of their lives’ – was killed on May 20.
Michael Williams, her husband, has now recalled the horrific moment he realized their idyllic, rural farm in Vilcabamba, Ecuador was being invaded and how he was beaten up by the men.
Francesca Williams, from Poway, California, lived in Colorado before moving to Ecuador with her family. But they experienced a terrifying break in, in which Francesca was shot dead
Francesca Williams, her husband Michael, and their three daughters Rachel, Renee and Rebekah. They all lived at the farm in Vilcabamba, Ecuador
He told KDVR: ‘We need to navigate this grief we are about to go through. There are a ton of different stages of this right now, we’re on a heightened level of anxiousness and security because we aren’t in a safe place.
‘We never would have imagined people were staking us out.
‘We are so far removed. It’s a three-kilometer drive to and from. And to hike and in and out, it’s incomprehensible.’
Williams was outside when he felt like he was hit in the head with a brick – and then Rachel, one Francesca’s daughter, saw her grandpa on the floor with strange men, fighting them off.
She then heard gunshots. The men made their way into the home ordering her and her other sister Renee around – asking in Spanish where the ‘large aunt’ was.
Rachel said this was when she realized they may have had the wrong home, because no one matching that description had ever been at their property.
Francesca Williams, from Poway, California, she was shot in the back – near her heart – as the group of men tied down and beat up her husband, stabbed her father, and terrorized her three daughters while they rummaged through their home
Francesca was killed, but her husband and father (pictured) were beaten and stabbed during the ordeal. The daughters were physically unharmed but endured the horrific home raid
Michael was meanwhile tied up by the robbers as they rummaged through the home, stealing their belongings before finally leaving.
It was then that he got up and searched for his wife – who he found had been shot dead.
Michael said: ‘Then I found my wife and she had been killed. We ran down the hill and into our car and took her to emergency services, but it was too late for her.’
Their other daughter Rebekah had seen what was unfolding and fled into a nearby jungle area.
Speaking about how Francesca was doing all she could to help her family when the robbers arrived, Michael said: ‘I think they saw Francesca as a threat and she was physically capable of handling that man.
‘I think things could have been a lot worse if she didn’t interfere. She probably did her best to make sure we were all alright.’
The family moved to the country from their home in Colorado and set up a rural lifestyle, where they tended animals and lived in the countryside.
Marianna Bacilla, Francesca’s adoptive mom who lives in Poway, California launched a fundraising page for her daughter in the wake of the tragedy.
Francesca often shared images of her scenic life in Ecuador. It’s unclear if this is her farm pictured
Francesca (left) pictured with one of her daughters
The GoFundMe read: ‘On Saturday night, May 20th, my daughter Francesca Williams was killed in a home invasion robbery at her farm in Ecuador.
‘My three granddaughters are physically unharmed, but the trauma is immeasurable. My son-in-law, Michael, was badly battered.
‘Francesca‘s birth father, John, whom she’d been caring for, was stabbed multiple times. Both Michael and John are out of the hospital and are going to be okay, physically.
‘They all endured horrendous trauma. Their Ecuadorian community is fully embracing them – taking care of them until they all fly home to the U.S. at the end of May.
‘We are working with the U.S. consulate in Ecuador to help return Francesca’s body to the United States.
Writing about her daughter, she wrote: ‘Francesca was the light of our life. She was a devoted wife and mother of three beautiful daughters. She graduated from Poway High School and UCSD with a BA in Linguistics.
‘She was fluent in French, Spanish and Lithuanian. She was a translator and an avid writer and illustrator who had published her first book, “The King’s Magic”. In the small town of Vilcabamba, Ecuador, Francesca’s family lived on a small farm they were building themselves, raising chickens, goats, horses, pigs, ducks and guinea fowl, working toward a goal of sustainable farming. – It was their humble Shangri-La.
‘Her family will be returning to their home in Colorado. Francesca will be buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Kremmling, CO.
‘She will be buried next to my sister Stephanie, Francesca‘s biological mother who died in 2021, shortly after Mark, my late husband.
‘Thank you for understanding the need to share my heart and my pain with you. We appreciate your support.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk