LAWRENCE — It started as a family feud on Snapchat and ended with a real life confrontation in Methuen Sunday night where a 63-year-old woman with high blood pressure was allegedly beaten by her niece during a fight involving at least three members of the same family.
The victim has been identified by Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office as Martina Gomez who lived at 21 Bicknell Ave. in Methuen where the fight broke out around 10 p.m. Sunday, according to Methuen police reports filed in Lawrence District Court.
According to police, the victim’s niece, Modesta Gomez, was feuding with the victim’s daughter, Fiordaliza Gomez, on Snapchat while Modesta was in Lawrence and Fiordaliza was at the family’s Methuen home. Also arguing over Snapchat was another relative, 36-year-old Ana Baez, police wrote.
Modesta Gomez — who is 23 years old — and Baez drove in separate cars to Bicknell Street with Baez arriving first on the scene, Modesta Gomez allegedly told police, the report said.
“Modesta related that when she got to Bicknell Ave. she went into the residence and noticed that Ana Baez had Fiordaliza on the floor and was holding her down,’’ police wrote. “Modesta related that she took advantage of that and proceeded to strike her cousin Fiordaliza while she was being held down.”
At that point, the victim, Martina Gomez, intervened on behalf of her daughter and began to fight with Modesta, police wrote. “Modesta related that while she was hitting her cousin, her aunt, Martina Gomez, grabbed her and they began fighting,’’ police wrote. “Modesta related that Martin held her by the hair so she grabbed onto Martina’s hair.”
Modesta Gomez’s version of what happened next is disputed by relatives of the victim who were in the house along with Fiordaliza at the time of the fight. Modesta Gomez allegedly told police “she thinks she might have thrown a punch” at the victim, but the victim’s children said Modesta was banging the victim’s head into a door during the struggle.
Modesta Gomez said she stopped fighting with the victim when Fiordaliza Gomez shouted that her mother had a high blood pressure condition. Martina Gomez collapsed to the floor and was carried outside by family members intent on driving her to a hospital, the report stated.
Police arrived at that moment and began providing emergency aid including rescue breaths and deploying an AED machine. Martina Gomez was taken to Lawrence General Hospital in Lawrence where she was later pronounced dead, authorities said.
Modesta Gomez was arraigned in Lawrence District Court Monday on charges of assault and battery on a person over 60, assault and battery, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. A not guilty plea was entered on her behalf, and she was ordered held pending a dangerousness hearing set for Friday.
The investigation is ongoing. The state medical examiner is conducting an autopsy.