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Barraza, Penelope Jean 1952-2000 HOMICIDE

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Mary S Taylor

Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 28069
Location: Fresno, CA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:39 am    Post subject: Barraza, Penelope Jean 1952-2000 HOMICIDE Reply with quote

Monterey County Herald, CA April 20, 2000
Couple found killed in Pajaro
A man and a woman were found dead of gunshot wounds in their Pajaro residence Wednesday afternoon. The Monterey County Sheriff’s Department reported that deputies responded to a call at 111-A San Juan Road, Royal Oaks, and found the two bodies. Dead were Penelope Jean Barraza and a Hispanic male, 64, whose name was withheld pending notification of his family. Sheriff’s homicide investigators said that both lived at the San Juan Road address, and that although they were not married they had been in a long-term relationship with each other. Autopsies are scheduled today. Investigators said no suspects are being sought at this time.

Monterey County Herald, CA April 21, 2000
Police say man shot girlfriend, then self
By M. Cristina Medina / Herald staff writer

No one heard the gunshots and no note was left explaining the motive for an apparent murder-suicide that took place sometime after Monday night, when Penelope Jean Barraza came home to her live-in boyfriend in Pajaro. What awaited Barraza, 45, a gas station attendant, was apparently known only to her boyfriend, Jose Amparo Lemus Vargas, 64, an unemployed field worker. Barraza was in the couple’s bedroom – in bed – when she was shot once at close range in the back of the head, Monterey County Sheriff’s spokesman Bill Cassara said Thursday. Vargas apparently stayed in the room and then shot himself with his 9 mm handgun. The gun as still firmly clenched in his grasp when Barraza’s sister and a friend went to the home on San Juan Road on Wednesday to find out why Barraza had failed to show up for work. At 3:16 p.m. Wednesday, the couple were discovered in the home they shared. .”We are doing all we can to find out what was going on in their relationship,: said Casssara, adding that family and friends are among the people investigators plan to probe. “We don’t know a whole lot right now, outwardly there was no record of domestic violence – no record of police being called to the house for problems.” Cassara said the crime scene was undisturbed. An autopsy Thursday confirmed that each of the victims died from a single gunshop wound. To be absolutely sure that investigators were dealing with a murder-suicide, the trajectory of the path of the self-inflicted bullet was traced, Cassara said, and investigators have reconstructed the crime, studying the position of the bodies. Time of death has not been nailed down, though Cassara said investigators believe the couple died at about the same time. Traces of what is believed to be gunshot residue are being tested after being lifted from Vargas’ and. “There’s always a chance that what you are looking at doesn’t tell the entire story, so investigators had to take a step back and confirm hat a murder-suicide actually happened,” Cassara said. Cassara said investigators were forcusing on talking to people who knew the couple, in hopes of discovering any recent problems or quarrels that could have provoked a fatal confrontation. A woman who rented the home to the couple described them as “both very nice, nice people.” The landlady did not want to be identified publicly, but said there was nothing to indicate problems brewing in the home. “They always paid rent on time and were helpful,” she said. “There was nothing evil about them. We never saw anything out of the ordinary.”

Copyright (c) 2017 The Monterey County Herald

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