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Teenager who stabbed her mother to death 79 times

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Isabella Guzman, born in 1995, emerged into public consciousness through a tragic incident that unfolded in August 2013. Isabella’s life took a dark turn when, at the age of 18, she committed a gruesome act, fatally stabbing her mother, Yun Mi Hoy, in their Colorado home.

The complexities of her troubled upbringing, strained relationships and subsequent legal battles have since woven a narrative that delves into the depths of mental health challenges and the haunting consequences of a fateful night for Isabella Guzman.

Who is Isabella Guzman?

Isabella Guzman

Isabella Guzman is an American residing in the U.S. state of Colorado, who was born in 1995. On August 28, 2013, she gained notoriety at the age of 18 for stabbing her mother, Yun Mi Hoy, 79 times on the upper floor of their Colorado residence. Yun Mi Hoy’s face, neck and torso endured extensive stabbing and she eventually died.

Isabella’s strained relationship with her mother stemmed from financial struggles during her upbringing in a modest household. The inability to afford many of Isabella’s desires resulted in frequent arguments. The situation deteriorated further after Isabella’s parents divorced, and Yun Mi Hoy remarried. Tensions escalated to the point where Isabella issued death threats to both her mother and stepfather, prompting police intervention.
One night, Guzman went through with one of these threats and killed her mother.

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What happened to Isabella Guzman?

Isabella Guzman smile

On August 28, 2013, Guzman stabbed her mother, Yun Mi Hoy, to death in their Aurora, Colorado home. Seven years later, a video of Guzman in court went viral on TikTok, and she became an internet sensation. Guzman was just 18 years old when she brutally murdered her mom. Her family was stunned. She was said to have had behavioural issues even as a child, but loved ones described her as “sweet” and “good-hearted.”

Soon after her arrest, Guzman pleaded not guilty because of insanity. Her doctors found that she suffered from schizophrenia and a judge ordered that she remain at Colorado Mental Health Institute until she was no longer a threat to herself or others.

After seven years of hospitalisation, in 2020, Guzman claimed her schizophrenia was under control and petitioned to be released from the institution. At the same time, footage from her 2013 court hearing resurfaced and started making the rounds on TikTok — earning her a bizarre fanbase.

Guzman began having behavioural issues at a young age. Her mother sent her to live with her biological father, Robert Guzman, when she was around seven years old due to these concerns. Guzman eventually moved back in with Hoy, but she continued to struggle throughout her teen years and she soon dropped out of high school.

In August 2013, the relationship between Guzman and Yun Mi Hoy deteriorated quickly. According to her stepfather, Ryan Hoy, Guzman became “more threatening and disrespectful” toward her mother and on August 27, 2013, the two had a particularly nasty argument that ended in Guzman spitting in her mom’s face.

According to CBS4 Denver, Hoy received an email from her daughter the next morning that simply read, “You will pay.” Terrified, Hoy called the police. They arrived at the house that afternoon and spoke with Guzman, telling her that her mother could legally kick her out if she did not start respecting her and following her rules.

Hoy also called Guzman’s biological father and asked him to come and have a talk with her. Robert Guzman arrived at the house that evening, according to HuffPost. He later recalled: “We sat down in the backyard looking at the trees and the animals and I started to talk to her about the respect that people should have for their parents.

“I thought that I made progress,” he continued. But just hours later, he discovered that their conversation had tragically done nothing at all.

On the night of August 28, 2013, Yun Mi Hoy arrived home from work around 9:30 p.m. She told her husband she was going upstairs to take a shower — but he soon heard a thud followed by blood-curdling screams.

Ryan Hoy rushed upstairs just in time to see Guzman slamming the bathroom door shut. He tried to push through, but Guzman had locked it and was pushing against the other side. When he saw blood seeping beneath the door, he raced back downstairs to call 911.

When Ryan Hoy returned, according to Huffington Post, he heard his wife say, “Jehovah,” and then saw Guzman open the door and walk out with a bloody knife. He “advised that he never heard Guzman say anything and that she didn’t speak to him as she exited the bathroom… [she] was just staring straight ahead when she walked past him.”

He ran into the bathroom and found Yun Mi Hoy naked on the floor with a baseball bat beside her, covered in stab wounds. He tried to resuscitate her, but she was already dead. Investigators later found that her throat had been slashed and she had been stabbed at least 79 times in the head, neck, and torso.

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By the time police arrived, Guzman had already fled the scene. They quickly launched a manhunt, informing the public that Guzman was “armed and dangerous.” Officers found her in a nearby parking garage the next afternoon, her pink sports bra and turquoise shorts still covered in her mother’s blood.

According to CNN, during her arraignment hearing on September 5, 2013, Guzman had to be forcibly removed from her cell. Upon reaching the courtroom, she made a series of peculiar faces at the camera, smirking and pointing at her eyes.

George Brauchler, the district attorney for the 18th Judicial District of Colorado, stated to CBS4 Denver: “We punish people who make decisions to do wrong when they knew better and they could have done something differently. And in this particular case, I am convinced… that this woman did not know right from wrong and she could not have acted differently than she did, given the significant schizophrenia and paranoid delusions, audible, visual hallucinations that she was going through.”

The judge accepted Guzman’s plea of not guilty because of insanity and committed her to the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo. She was ordered to stay there until no longer a danger to herself or the community.

Speaking to CBS4 Denver at the time, she stated, “I was not myself when I did that, and I have since been restored to full health. I’m not mentally ill anymore. I’m not a danger to myself or others.”

Guzman also claimed to have endured years of abuse from her mother. She explained, “I was abused at home by my parents for many years. My parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I left the religion when I was 14, and the abuse at home worsened after I quit.”

In June 2021, Guzman was granted permission to leave the hospital for therapy sessions. Despite her reportedly abusive relationship with her mother, she expressed remorse, stating, “If I could change it or if I could take it back, I would.”

Isabella Guzman family

Isabella Guzman in court

Guzman faced a tumultuous family dynamic involving her parents, Yun Mi Hoy and Robert Guzman.

Isabella Guzman age

Guzman was born in the year 1995. She is 28 years old as of 2023.

Isabella Guzman now

To this day, Isabella Guzman resides at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo, compelled to live with the memory of the gruesome act she committed.

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