Sandra Sevilla said her daughter had just left for school on Tuesday morning when she saw Bonnie Burns, 42, dead inside a car parked near the intersection of 8th Avenue and Magnolia Road in Deland.
"It was kind of a shock for them, that the car was just parked there," she said.
Burns' Ford Escort was still running, parked near a school bus stop.
Deputies are now investigating Burns' death as a homicide, but they are not releasing how she was killed.
"Once we find out more information, I'm sure it's not going to make us feel any better, but at least, you know, we'll know what we're dealing with," said Donna Verdeur, who lives in the neighborhood.
Deputies say Burns' body was discovered by a friend who went looking for her after she didn't show up to her house.
Verdeur says her husband has seen Burns in the neighborhood before.
"It's a scary thing to think we have children running around playing in the neighborhood and something like this could happen," she said.
Parents say they will be on guard until they find out what happened to Burns.
"We have to just be careful, have our doors locked, and you know, take care of each other," said Sevilla.