The mother of an army colonel arrested for an October 2012 massacre in northwestern Guatemala was found murdered, police said Friday.

Manuela Sal Siquinajay, 71, appeared to have been beaten and strangled, fire rescue personnel told the press.

Family members found Sal dead Thursday inside her home in San Andres Itzapa, 54 kilometers (34 miles) from Guatemala City.

The victim was taken to the medical examiner's office for an autopsy, police said in a statement.

Sal was the mother of Col. Juan Chiroy, who is one of nine army personnel in custody awaiting trial for the killings of six indigenous people in the northwestern province of Totonicapan.

The deaths took place Oct. 4, 2012, during a protest against a rise in electricity rates. EFE