One Dead, One In Custody After Homicide In Orinda Home

A 62-year-old Orinda man is in custody and awaiting charges in connection with the death of his live-in girlfriend after a domestic dispute ended in murder Tuesday.


Orinda police have arrested a 62-year-old Orinda man in connection with the death of his 51-year-old live-in girlfriend, killed in the residence they shared in the 600 block of Moraga Way.

Police Chief Jeff Jennings said a 90-year-old neighbor called police to report a murder at the residence at 12:18 p.m. Tuesday, and that dispatchers could apparently hear the male suspect telling his neighbor where police could find the crime scene over the phone. The suspect, who shared the home with the victim and who allegedly had a history of domestic violence upon her, returned to their home when police arrived and was taken into custody at that time, Jennings said.

The police chief said investigators were confident they had the correct individual in custody for the crime and that neighbors needn't worry. He described the homicide as a domestic dispute "which ended in murder."

Police making entry to the home found the unidentified victim on the kitchen floor of the residence, according to Jennings. Officers located a weapon believed to have been used in the killing but would not say how the woman was killed. Jennings said the suspect made spontaneous admissions of responsibility for the killing when he was arrested.

Any motive for the killing and the exact nature of the relationship between the person arrested and the victim have not yet been disclosed. The 90-year-old neighbor who called police was later taken to the hospital for observation after telling officers he did not feel well.

Neighbors said the man who owned the residence was "nice" if a little "different." A neighbor who declined to be identified told Patch the suspect had been living at the home for decades and had a girlfriend living with him for the last ten years or so. The neighbor talked to the man on Monday, about "normal things," and said that nothing seemed amiss.

Reports that the woman's niece was also at the residence shortly before the killing could not be immediately verified.

Tuesday's homicide is believed to be the first in Orinda since the 2002 killing of psychotherapist Felix Polk by his estranged wife Susan Polk.

Brad Katkowsky June 27, 2012 at 04:51 AM
Really sad. There's a lot going on behind closed doors that next door neighbors aren't even aware of. Condolences to the victim in this and to her family.
Michael Taylor June 27, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Big news in our little town. Condolences to the families involved.
Lourdes June 27, 2012 at 02:54 PM
A tragedy. So sorry.
MF June 27, 2012 at 03:45 PM
I ride my bike by this house frequently. On Monday I noticed the suspect working on his roses in the front yard. How quickly things change.....sad
lynn June 29, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Thank you Sherry for letting me know that the niece is okay and with other family memebers. This is very sad, I feel for the niece, if you hear of the niece needing anything please post. I would love to help her!


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