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OKLAHOMA CITY – A metro mother was reportedly murdered right in front of her children, and her killer is still on the run.

Selena Escalera-Pacheco was found stabbed to death inside her own apartment. Monday, friends and family held a balloon release in her memory.

Purple and white balloons were let go in honor of Pacheco.

Police said the 24-year-old was stabbed several times inside her own apartment.

“They slit her throat,” said Claudia Cruz.

The Oklahoma City Police Department responded to a panicked 911 call Saturday afternoon.

A friend found her body in the bedroom of one of Pacheco’s five children. Police said they watched in horror while their mother was murdered right in front of them.

“That’s the worst thing that could happen,” said Italia Nunez. “Those kids are going to be traumatized for life.”

Pacheco’s friends said her life was just beginning and told News 4 that she had only recently moved into the apartment near I-240 and Penn. They said she had just ended a bad relationship and believe her ex-boyfriend is the person behind the heinous crime.

News 4 spoke to one of Pacheco’s relatives, who asked we hide her identity out of fear that she would be targeted next.

“I feel like this was planned,” Pacheco’s relative said. “It was setup. Something like this doesn’t just happen.”

Police are not naming a suspect at this time.

The killer who took Pacheco’s life still walks free, but people who were close to her said the person didn’t take everything.

“All the good memories that we had,” Nunez said. “We had so many good memories.”

Now, the memories are all they have left to hold on to.

Police said DHS did take Pacheco’s five children into custody unharmed.

Pacheco’s family told News 4 that the children are with their grandmother.