Local woman found murdered previously made cries for help on social media

Neighbor also heard loud arguments, screams prior to murder

SAN ANTONIO – A local woman who was found shot to death inside her Northwest Side apartment Monday morning had been crying out for help as early as last week.

In a series of Facebook posts dated last Friday, Sheila-Jo Portillo Hanks, writing under the name “Sheila-Jo Portillo,” seemed desperate to have a friend reach out to her.

RELATED: Man found near Northwest Side murder scene covered in blood ‘from the waist up’, police say

The posts mentioned that the 51-year-old needed a friend and wanted a friend to call or text her.

On Monday morning, San Antonio police found her, dead from a gunshot wound to her head, inside her ground-floor apartment in the 6100 block of Vance Jackson.

They also arrested Carlos Portillo, 44, who they found pacing the sidewalk nearby, covered in blood “from his waist, up.”

Carlos Portillo, 44, has been charged with murder. (KSAT)

A police report says when asked, he told officers the blood belonged to his wife.

“It’s hard to believe,” one neighbor told KSAT 12 News Wednesday morning.

The neighbor, who did not want to reveal her identity, said she is still stunned by what happened.

She said she had only seen the couple in passing. The neighbor said they had lived at the Oak Creek apartment complex for only a few months.

In that short time, though, the neighbor said she did have hints of trouble.

She recalled hearing a loud argument last weekend, then another commotion Monday morning.

“We heard screaming around, about 6:00 in the morning,” the neighbor said. “I asked (my friend), “What was that noise? Who was that screaming?” And he said it was a lady.”

The neighbor said she only found out what happened from watching the news later.

Although the crime scene is gone now, the crime remains on the minds of people there.

Also remaining Wednesday morning was a dog that neighbors say belonged to the murdered woman.

It apparently was left behind during the commotion, although an officer with Animal Care Services was present at the scene Monday after the murder.

A dog, which neighbors say belonged to the murdered woman, sat outside her door. KSAT 12 News contacted Animal Care Services to take custody of the abandoned pet. (KSAT 12 News)

The unidentified neighbor said she and others at the apartment complex had given food, water, and a warm blanket to the pet.

KSAT 12 News emailed a spokeswoman for ACS about the situation Wednesday morning.

She replied that she would pass on the information to the agency’s field representatives who are in charge of retrieving stray and other unattended animals.

Carlos Portillo, meanwhile, remains in custody on a murder charge.

Records show he has a criminal history, including several prior arrests for drug possession, dating back more than a decade.

If you or someone you know is in a dangerous relationship, there is a long list of resources on KSAT’s Domestic Violence page.

If you are in crisis you can:

- call 911

- call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233

- call the local Family Violence Prevention Services, which runs the shelter, Crisis Number: 210-733-8810, Programs and Administration: 210-930-3669

- call the Bexar County Family Justice Center at 210-631-0100.

About the Authors

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

Santiago Esparza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

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