|REPORTING OFFICER'S NARRATIVE (Brief narrative of the facts surrounding the offense and the arrest.)
At 11:16 p.m., Dispatch received a report from Unit 224 (Officer Steve Harding) of the discovery of an unresponsive adult female in a storage unit at Duane's Store-O-Rama located at 118 Meadowview Drive. Unit 224 requested immediate medical assistance and backup be dispatched to the location. YCFD EMT Unit 15 was dispatched to provide medical assistance and arrived at the scene at 11:21 p.m. Unit 239 (Officer Rick Winfield) was dispatched to provide backup and arrived at the scene at 11:23 p.m. Reporting Investigators (R/Is) Detectives T. Armstrong and S. Murphy were assigned and proceeded directly to the scene. R/Is arrived at the scene at 11:40 p.m. Upon arrival, R/Is found that R/Os had secured the area. Environmental conditions at the scene upon arrival are as follows: Exterior Ambient Temperature 84°F/29°C; Relative Humidity: 66%; Interior crime scene location Ambient Temperature: 90°F/32°C; Relative Humidity: 58%.
R/O Harding made the following verbal report, which is stated in summary and not verbatim. R/O was on routine patrol and drove past Duane's Store-O-Rama at approximately 11:10 p.m. R/O observed a partially open storage unit and light coming from inside the unit. R/O observed no vehicles in the vicinity of the storage unit or anywhere else on the property and deemed the situation warranted further inspection. R/O used the YCSD security code to gain admittance to the gated property and drove to the storage unit. Upon exiting the squad car approximately 10 feet from the storage unit, R/O verbally identified himself as a sheriff's officer and instructed any persons inside the storage unit to exit the unit. Upon receiving no response, R/O approached the storage unit on foot and repeated the identification and instruction. Upon again receiving no response, R/O stopped just outside the unit. R/O noted that the storage unit's manual overhead door was open approximately 8 inches from the ground and observed a combination padlock on the ground just outside the storage unit. R/O then repeated the identification and instruction for a third time and added that if any occupants of the unit did not respond, R/O would enter the unit to check on the well-being of any occupants. Upon again receiving no response, R/O lifted the manual overhead door and looked inside the unit. At the far end of the unit, R/O observed what appeared to be a female person, wrapped in plastic and lying on a work bench. R/O approached the female and attempted to determine whether the female was in need of assistance. Upon finding the female exhibited no signs of life, R/O exited the storage unit and secured the scene. R/O contacted Dispatch to request backup and immediate medical assistance. R/O said YCFD EMTs R. Peterson and J. Bilkey arrived at approximately 11:21 p.m. and, after confirming the victim was deceased, withdrew from the crime scene. R/O said YCSD Unit 239 (Officer Rick Winfield) arrived at approximately 11:23 p.m. and provided backup and assistance in securing the scene. R/O Harding further stated that, to the best of his knowledge, the following personnel had occasion to enter the crime scene area and should be excluded by CSU personnel: EMT Peterson, EMT Bilkey and himself.
After receiving the report from R/O Harding, R/Is contacted Dispatch and requested that Coroner’s Inspector L. Johnson and a CSU team be notified to respond to the scene. R/Is conducted a preliminary inspection of the scene. R/Is observed no signs of forced entry into the unit and no signs of tampering on the combination lock observed on the ground just outside the unit. The storage unit measured approximately 12 feet by 12 feet. The manual overhead door was the only means of entrance or exit in the storage space. There was a single ceiling-mounted utility light in the center of the space. The light was turned on. R/Is observed no signs of struggle inside or outside the storage space.
Immediately upon entering the storage unit, R/Is observed a pair of men's high top basketball shoes just inside the door. On the floor and against the west wall of the storage unit, R/Is observed a black nylon and plastic ladies' purse, measuring approximately 5 inches by 6 inches with a 48-inch shoulder strap. The purse contained a condom, a piece of string, a lock, a scrap of paper with a telephone number, a small knife and a lipstick. No wallet, money or identification were found in the purse. On the west wall in the vicinity of the purse, R/Is observed a reddish-brown spatter that appeared to be blood.
At the far end of the storage unit, R/Is observed the body of an adult female (Person 1) lying on a panel resting on two metal sawhorses approximately 30 inches tall. Further visual inspection revealed the panel was a hollow core door, measuring 71 inches by 30 inches. The body was completely wrapped in clear plastic, visually consistent with common painter's plastic sheeting. Visual inspection indicated the victim was wearing a sleeveless black dress, black fishnet stockings, and black men's hobnail boots, size 9-1/2. R/Is observed no apparent signs of external injury. The body was in a supine position with the arms alongside the body, bent at the elbows at approximate 90° angles with the forearms and hands resting on top of the lower torso. R/Is delayed further inspections of the body until the arrival of the Coroner's Inspector.
Coroner's Inspector Luwinda Johnson arrived at the scene at approximately 12:04 a.m. and joined R/Is at the body's location. Inspector Johnson pronounced the victim (Person 1) deceased at 12:15 a.m. by visual observation that the victim was not breathing and by tactile observation that the victim did not have a palpable carotid pulse. Inspector Johnson visually examined the body and observed no immediately apparent external injuries. Inspector Johnson noted that the body was in the early stages of rigor mortis and that nonfixed lividity was present on the posterior of the body. While she withheld an official estimate pending an autopsy, Inspector Johnson speculated the victim had been dead approximately 3 to 4 hours. Inspector Johnson indicated that further details, including information on cause of death, would be available in the official autopsy report.
After Inspector Johnson completed her initial inspection of the bodies, she stayed with the CSU team to ensure integrity of the body, while the team took photographs of the scene and performed preliminary analyses until the body could be removed from the scene without affecting other evidence.
CSU arrived at the scene at approximately 12:12 a.m. R/Is requested that CSU take note of spatter on the west wall and analyze it to determine its composition and, if possible, its origin.
Following preliminary inspection of the scene, R/Is attempted to contact the owner and/or manager of Duane's Store-O-Rama but were unable to speak with anyone. A voice message was left on the business's voice mail system requesting that the owner/manager contact the YCSD immediately.
R/Is left the scene at 1:25 a.m. Before leaving, R/I Murphy instructed CSU to seal the scene upon completion or end of shift suspension of processing. CSU to notify R/Is of progress by the end of this date. As of this filing, CSU is still actively processing at the scene.
The body of the deceased was remanded into the custody of Coroner's Inspector Luwinda Johnson. The deceased was removed from scene at 3:44 a.m. and transported to the coroner's office for autopsy.
Evidence remanded into the custody of Forensics Officer T. R. Douglas for transport to the State Crime Lab for routine analysis. CSU is expected to submit an inventory of items taken into evidence within fourteen days of this report, with detailed report(s) of their findings to follow at a later date.