SANFORD, Fla. (WFLA) — Steven Rivera Cartagena said he was “shattered in every single way” when he found out his mother was killed last month.

Sanford police said 49-year-old Joysee Cartagena Clemente was found in her home with a large zip tie around her neck on July 17. On Tuesday, officers ruled Cartagena Clemente’s death a homicide.

Rivera Cartagena told WESH that he isn’t sure who would want to harm his mother.

“That’s the same question I have. I always say that my mom wasn’t the type of person to have enemies. You know, she was a sweet woman,” he said.

A co-worker at Cartagena Clemente’s job called 911 when they couldn’t reach her after she had not signed onto her computer at home.

“It’s very unlike her to just disappear, and I want to make sure she’s OK,” the caller said.

When officers arrived at Cartagena Clemente’s home, they tried to give her life-saving care. However, they said it was too late to save her.

On Saturday, friends and family gathered for a celebration of life service.

“She was my world. I mean, that’s all I knew,” Rivera Cartagena said. “My mother is my only immediate family that’s here in Florida, so hearing the news that she passed away, I felt like an orphan.”

Rivera Cartagena is urging whoever killed his mother to turn themself in.

Anyone with information on Cartagena Clemente’s death should call the Sanford Police Department at 800-423-TIPS (8477) or visit