Sheriff: UF pre-med student admits to fatally stabbing own mom in Frostproof home for ‘annoying’ him

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd provided an update Monday afternoon on the murder of a Frostproof elementary school teacher, allegedly at the hands of her own son, a pre-med student at the University of Florida.


According to the sheriff’s office, 21-year-old Emmanuel Espinoza called 911 himself Saturday afternoon and admitted to killing his mother, 46-year-old Elvia Espinoza, in her own home.

“I killed someone,” Espinoza can be heard telling a dispatcher in a recording released by the sheriff’s office Monday. “I stabbed my mom.”

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According to Espinoza’s arrest report, the first deputy at the murder scene arrived to find Espinoza walking out of the front door, entirely covered in blood, at which point he again said, “I just killed my mom.”

Additional Polk County deputies responded and entered the home where they found Elvia Espinoza on the kitchen floor, face-down in a large pool of blood, obviously dead from multiple stab wounds.

During an interview with investigators at the sheriff’s office, Emmanuel Espinoza explained that he had gone to his mother’s home from Gainesville that day to stay with her while he visited another relative.

According to the sheriff’s office, Espinoza told investigators he only made the decision to kill his mother about an hour before arriving in Frostproof, saying he had thought about killing her for “a long time,” but “has not had the courage to carry out the act until now.”

When asked what the motive for the stabbing was, deputies say Espinoza told them it happened as a result of his mother “annoying him” when he was younger.

According to deputies, Espinoza went on to say he loved his mother, but still decided to kill her.

He then went on to describe, in detail, the sequence of events leading up to the killing.

According to his arrest report, Espinoza said he arrived at the home at approximately 2 p.m. Saturday, then put a set of “AirPod Pros” in his ears, played the Jay-Z and Kanye West song “No Church in the Wild,” and increased the volume.

Video released by the sheriff’s office from a doorbell camera attached to the home shows Espinoza calmly approach the front door with a small folding knife already in his hand.

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Espinoza can be seen initially attempting to simply open the door and walk in, but it’s locked, so he knocks.

That’s when deputies say Elvia opened the door for Emmanuel and he immediately attacked her, stabbing her in the stomach multiple times with the knife.

Deputies say Elvia attempted to run, but Emmanuel chased her into the kitchen area of the home, continually stabbing her as she ran.

At one point, deputies say Elvia fought back by attempting to take the knife from her son, but he continued to stab her in the chest and neck area until she fell.

Even after she fell face-down on the floor, deputies say Emmanuel continued the attack by cutting his mother’s shirt open and continuing to repeatedly stab her in the back “until her hands stopped moving.”

That’s when Espinoza said he finally ended the attack and went to the kitchen sink to wash the knife and his hands, then immediately called 911 “because of what he did.”

During his update Monday, Sheriff Judd described a moment Espinoza had at the kitchen sink when he began to ask his mother for Neosporin to treat a cut on his hand- which he had received during the stabbing- before he noticed she was dead.

Espinoza went on to tell investigators he used his pre-med education and knowledge of the human body to stab his mother in specific places to ensure he would be successful in killing her. In all, deputies say Espinoza stabbed his mother more than 70 times with the knife.

According to the sheriff’s office, video from a surveillance camera inside the home captured the sounds of the attack, including Elvia repeatedly shouting “Manny,” which she was known to call Emmanuel Espinoza.

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Once the video goes silent, deputies say Espinoza can be seen at the kitchen sink, wearing sunglasses, and washing blood from his arms and hands before walking over to the camera and turning it, in an attempt to disable it.

Deputies ultimately arrested and charged Espinoza with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence. He’s being held in the Polk County jail on no bond.

Sheriff Judd described Elvia Espinoza as a well-known, beloved second grade teacher at Ben Hill Griffin Elementary School in Frostproof with more than 20 years as an educator.

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