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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