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Mother of murder victim seeks custody of baby left behind

The mother of the young woman killed in a double-murder suicide in Palm Springs on Sunday, January 4, spoke to News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 Thursday morning.

Bianca Knauf’s mother, Lourdez Benitez, said she’s seeking full custody of the two-year-old boy who was left behind following the tragic shooting.

The shooting occurred in an apartment at the Mojave Blue complex, located in the 2700 block of East Tahquitz Canyon Way.

On Tuesday afternoon, authorities identified the two female victims as 59-year-old Sally Knauf of Rochester, NY, and 23-year-old Bianca Knauf of Palm Springs. The investigation revealed that 27-year-old Daniel Knauf, of Palm Springs, apparently shot the two women before turning the gun on himself.

Their two-year-old son, Jacob, was found sleeping in the apartment, physically unharmed.

Bianca Knauf grew up in Cathedral City and went to Cathedral City High School. She worked at PlumberEx in Thousand Palms. Her coworkers tell News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 that she and Daniel were separated and were planning on getting divorced.

Benitez said funeral services and a viewing for her daughter Bianca will take place on Monday, January 12, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Spanish Assembly of God Church, located at 69220 Victoria Drive in Cathedral City.

The burial will take place the following day.

Benitez said she’s requested a birth certificate for Jacob as she seeks full custody. She set up a gofundme account to help with financial support for the boy.

According to the Rochester City School District in Rochester, NY, Sally Knauf worked as a special education teacher at Rochester’s School #41.

A school administrator sent out a letter to parents and students on Tuesday explaining the situation.

The letter reads, “It is with deep sadness that I write to you today. Sally Knauf, a dedicated and highly-regarded special education teacher at our school, died tragically this past weekend while visiting family in California.”

The release said that Ms. Knauf had been teaching for ten years and taught special education for five of those years at School 41.

News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 will keep you updated with any future developments in the case.

KESQ News Team

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