Pregnant Florida mother endures being beaten, shot, 2-story tape-bound leap and knife fight to save her family

Hostage Marcela Borges on the stand

Throughout history there has been tale after tale of how a mother is able to find extraordinary and sometimes nearly inconceivable strength when their children are in danger. Such is the case for Marcela Borges from Winter Garden, Florida.

Victor Manuel Sanchez is currently on trial for numerous felony charges including attempted murder, home-invasion robbery, and kidnapping. All of these charges stem from a terrifying hostage crisis that happened to the family of Rubens Morais, his wife Marcela Borges and their 5-year-old autistic son. On Wednesday, Marcela Borges told her side of the story in court and what she endured is beyond the pale.

In November of 2009 a group of four individuals, including a yet to be captured female Bolivian ring-leader Bianca Dos Santos, the aforementioned Sanchez and two other men, Miguel Diaz Santiz and Oscar Hernandez Diaz knocked on their home and demanded cash in order for Mr. Morais to, “save his family.” He complied by handing over $30,000 from a family safe but the crew was not satisfied. They also forced Marcela Borges to withdraw $24,000 from their bank account.

^Victor Manuel Sanchez on trial

For 3 days the family was held hostage and at one point the alleged criminals horrifically played Russian roulette with their five-year-old son, pointing a gun to his head and repeatedly pulling the trigger. During this nightmare the 2-month-pregnant Borges stated that she was beaten, shot and threatened with death. At one point she attempted to force a captor to call 911 by wielding a knife but was unsuccessful. Following this her husband, who was bound to a chair with his face covered by a shirt, recalled hearing her being pistol-whipped in another room.

Marcela eventually managed to leap backwards from a second story window, landing in between two air conditioner units, even with her feet bound to escape. In spite of the injuries from her fall and an ensuing knife fight with the female assailant she managed to make it to a neighbors’ house and contact the police. She said that as she fled she could hear the clicks of a pistol.

^Miguel Diaz Santiz / Oscar Hernandez Diaz

In summary; Marcela Borges, 2-months-pregnant, was held captive, her husband was bound to a a chair with his face hidden, her autistic five-year-old son was tortured and threatened repeatedly with Russian roulette, she was beaten, shot, threatened with death, attempted to free her family with a kitchen knife and was punished for this with a pistol-whipping, leaped backwards from a 2nd story window while bound by tape falling just in between two air conditioner units, survived a knife fight with an assailant, managed to flee and heard the click of a pistol as she ran to a neighbor to call police to save her family……


I’m looking into how her unborn baby fared following this. I’ll update when I get the info… In a 2009 article it was written, “The woman who was shot, Marcela Borges, was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center where she underwent surgery for her injuries. She is expected to recover.”

I’m calling my mom to tell her I love her and if you’re fortunate enough to be able to do the same I suggest you do too. In the immortal words of Sarah McKinley, “There’s nothing more dangerous than a woman with a child.”

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  • Daisy

    Since this happened in November 2009, I was just wondering about the baby she was pregnant with and how her family is doing now… ?

    • Alyssa

      Daisy, I was wondering the same thing. Hopefully the entire family is ok.

  • Mary

    I live in Orlando, only about an hour from Winter Garden, and I have been going back through all the local papers websites and I’m not able to find anything about her baby, or if it survived. Please shed some light if you can anything!

  • Mary

    And does anyone else think she kinda looks like Dominique from America’s Next Top Model? Maybe it’s just me

  • Marcela Borges

    I just saw the article. My baby survived. He is a perfect health baby boy. Our family is ok! Thanks for your article. Marcela Borges

    • Mary

      That’s fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

      • Aileen

        Wow what a brave woman! Truly amazing!

    • Beautiful

      I believe most every woman who has had an early miscarriage loves to hear about an early fetus surviving an physically horrible experience. Your story has given me a lot of faith, I am so glad to hear sure an amazing woman was blessed with a second child. If your life allows it I hope you raise more than just the two, for our planet we can use your characteristics in the next generation.

    • Kaguya Otsutsuki

      I Saw this case yesterday on ID TV series. Thanks god Marcela, her family and unborn child are OkAy

  • tab

    what a horrifying situation.

  • Ashlynn

    Incredible mother and wife!

  • Daisy

    Glad to hear that everything worked out okay for the baby too!

  • John Laurie

    I just saw this episode, I’m still upset and angry at the perpetrators….Marcela is a very brave and honorable woman, her family also…may God Bless them always