Family, friends and coworkers of a 41-year-old woman who was killed in her East York home over the weekend remember her as a “lovely mother” and a “well-respected clinician.”

Rhoderie Estrada, who was identified by police as the victim of a murder early Saturday morning, was a mother of three children aged eight, 12 and 13. Friends of the victim’s daughters told CTV News Toronto all three children were asleep in their beds during the moment their mother was killed, waking only when their father was calling 911.

“For their sake I’m so, so, so sad. If I could see them right now I’d like to give them hugs,” said Minda Foimendos, who claimed to occasionally babysit Estrada’s children. “If I could see them right now I’d like to give them hugs.”

“She’s a lovely woman and she loves her kids so much and she works so hard for them.”

Det. Sgt. Mike Carbone said Saturday that police received a call from 72 Torrens Avenue around 2:15 a.m. When officers arrived to the scene, an occupant of the home led them upstairs where police say they found the “lifeless body of a woman” suffering from obvious signs of trauma.

Officers tried to resuscitate the woman, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said “an unknown person” entered the home, possibly by a side window, between 10:30 p.m. Friday and 2:15 a.m. Saturday.

Neighbours said that Estrada worked as a nurse in Scarborough. St. Joseph’s Health Centre released a statement to CTV News Toronto Monday afternoon, confirming the passing of one of their staff members over the weekend.

“Rhoderie has been a part of our team since 2001 and was a well-respected clinician and leader to her colleagues, as well as a friend,” the statement said.

Estrada’s husband owns Tinuno Restaurant on Sherbourne Street, south of Bloor. He posted a message to Facebook Monday morning, thanking the community for their prayers and support.

“The children and I are okay. Please continue to pray for my wife’s family and my children,” he wrote.

Police have not released the results of an autopsy conducted on Sunday. The Toronto police forensics identification services unit returned to the home to do another sweep of the crime scene Monday evening and officers continue to canvas the neighbourhood searching for witnesses and surveillance footage.