PHOTOS/VIDEO: Deputies investigating death of woman found in Immokalee home

RAW VIDEO 2: Woman found dead in Immokalee home

RAW VIDEO 1: Woman found dead in Immokalee home

— When her co-worker Iris Lopez Contreras didn’t show up for work Thursday, Lidia Leon knew something was wrong.

“I had a feeling,” said Leon an employee at Immokalee’s Tienda de Guatemala. “I started calling her at 10 a.m. when the store opened and nothing.”

It wasn’t until some customers arrived mid-afternoon Thursday, that Leon said she found out Contreras — a mother of three — had been found dead at her home.

“She was sweet and a talker,” said Leon of Contreras, who had worked at the store off Main Street for a year.

Collier deputies responded to a call about 2:45 p.m. Thursday at the 100 block of N. Seventh Street, where officials said they found Contreras’ body inside.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death as a homicide.

On Friday morning, crime scene tape and five Sheriff’s Office vehicles, including a crime scene investigator’s van remained outside the home while investigators went through the house and bagged evidence.

Neighbors and passersby said they were surprised when they heard Contreras, 29, was dead.

“We thought she was sick when the ambulance arrived,” said Carmelina Sanchez, 22, who lives in the farm workers housing across from the Contreras’ home.

As of Friday evening, no arrest had been made and no further information was available.

And for those who knew Contreras, questions remain.

“I didn’t know until I went to the store yesterday afternoon after work,” said Maria Lopez, 45. “I was like ‘Oh my God!’ and I got scared.”

Lopez, who has lived in the farm worker housing for five years and was Contreras’ neighbor for four, said she didn’t know what could have led to the death.

The fear now, Lopez said, is that it can happen to anyone.

“My nephew will stay with me for a while,” said Lopez. “To make sure I’m okay.

Connect with Elysa Batista at

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