By Abbey Doyle
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
Gloria Llanas, 27, and Oralia Contreas, 36, were “two peas in a pod,” family described.
The women worked together, often dressed alike and spent nearly all their time together.
The sisters even died together.
Gloria’s estranged husband, Gregorio Llanas, 27, shot the two women and then himself in the early morning hours of March 2, 2003. The two Anderson women were among about 75 people leaving a dance party hosted for the Hispanic community at Fall Creek House at County Roads 200 East and 600 South.
Responding Madison County Sheriff’s deputies said multiple shots ran out sometime after midnight as people were filing from the party. Gloria died at the scene just before 1 a.m.; her sister died later that morning at an Anderson hospital. Gregoria Llanas died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A fourth victim was released two days later from an Indianapolis hospital after being treated for gunshot wounds to his right arm and leg.
“Gloria was full of life,” said Maria Llamas, the women‘s sister-in-law. “Gloria was kind of playful and a little ornery.”
Gloria and Llanas had two daughters — Jessica and Mirella, 7 and 5 respectively at the time of their parents’ deaths. The girls went to live with relatives.
Maria said the family was shocked that Llanas shot the two women, although they said he had been struggling with his separation since December and the pending divorce. The two had been a “good couple” despite problems. They’d known each other since they were 15.
But in December, Llanas was charged with domestic battery, criminal confinement, battery with a deadly weapon and felony domestic battery against Gloria and their oldest daughter Jessica — the reason that, family say, Gloria left him.
In that incident, Llanas reportedly punched Gloria in the face twice threatening to kill the whole family, attempted to suffocate her with a blanket and then tried to choke her with his hands. During the struggle, Jessica called 911 telling police her father was trying to kill her mother and Llanas, according to police reports, hit the phone against the child’s head before hanging up the phone.
“She (Gloria) told him if he ever laid a hand on her she wouldn’t go back with him,” Maria recalled.
Gloria worked in housekeeping at the Ramada Inn.
“They were good people, they were very sisterly,” said Oralia’s husband, Silvestre Contreas, of the two inseparable women.