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Police: Hayes murdered girlfriend, killed self

by Brian Walker
| November 20, 2010 8:00 PM

POST FALLS - Police on Friday said Jeff A. Hayes murdered his girlfriend, Christina K. Mandriguez, before committing suicide at a Post Falls home on Oct. 28.

"What we've discovered is that he shot her, then shot himself," Post Falls police Capt. Greg McLean said.

McLean said evidence at the scene points to Hayes, 54, as the one who pulled the trigger of the Glock 9 mm handgun at the home at 509 E. 11th Ave.

"The gun was closest to him and he tested positive for gunshot residue," McLean said. "Gunpowder on his hand is consistent with him firing a weapon."

Police said Mandriguez was found holding a cell phone, but it's still unclear whether the phone will reveal any further evidence in the case such as if she was attempting to call for help.

"We're still analyzing the phone," McLean said, adding that it's not a common cell phone, delaying the investigation. "We're also trying to get our forensic computer up and running so we can complete the analysis. We want to put closure to finding out and we will."

McLean said it's unclear how much time elapsed between the murder and suicide because both bodies were badly decomposed. Police estimate about 10 days had lapsed between when the crime occurred and when one of the bodies was found by a landlord.

Police say the crime appears to be the result of a domestic dispute. However, the home was not in disarray and there was no evidence of a physical confrontation beforehand, McLean said. No one else was at the home at the time of the shootings.

McLean said a verbal report from the coroner's office confirmed that both Hayes and Mandriguez, 38, died by gunshot trauma to the head.

Police say the landlord was in the process of evicting the two. He posted a notice on the front door, then, when he hadn't heard from them, he returned to the home about a week later to find the notice still posted. When he opened the door, he saw the body of Mandriguez, immediately closed the door and called police.

Hayes shot and killed an alleged robber at a Stateline smoke shop about five years ago when he was working as a clerk at the business.

Police said Hayes, who had no children, grew up in the North Idaho area. Hayes had been laid off about a year ago.

Mandriguez, who has a daughter, has family in the Yakima area. She was employed at Goodwill in Post Falls for more than a year, through April 2009.

Hayes and Mandriguez had been in a long-term relationship for about 15 to 20 years, but were not married.

Police said it was the first murder-suicide in Post Falls in at least 25 years.

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