UPDATE: SW RivCo residents reeling after second triple murder in three days
UPDATED: Friday, Feb. 21, 12 p.m., With additional details from Hemet PD and on-scene photos and video from EN Media.
HEMET — Southwest Riverside County residents are in shock after learning about the second triple homicide to happen in the area in just three days.
The most recent murders that stole the lives of three women, which happened Wednesday, Feb. 19, on the 1400 block of Rabbit Peak Way in Hemet, followed just days after three men were found murdered at a Perris cemetery Monday, Feb. 17.
The back-to-back triple homicides have left many throughout the area fearful and wondering if the two deadly incidents could be related and what could have led to the senseless acts of violence.
LEADING THE RCNS HEADLINES:
Although more details regarding the Hemet murders are expected to be released at a press conference later this afternoon, what police have said so far is that they began investigating the Hemet murders around 8:50 p.m., after receiving a 911 call reporting a woman seen laying in a pool of blood at the Rabbit Peak home, a two story residence in a normally quiet neighborhood southwest of and W. Thornton and S. Sanderson avenues.
When officers arrived they “discovered the bodies of three deceased female victims inside the home,” Hemet Police Sgt. Gabriel Gomez has since reported.
The victims have been identified as Wendy Lopez-Araiza, 46, Genesis Lopez-Araiza, 21, and Trinity Clyde,18. All are Hemet residents.
Officials investigating the murder of three Hemet women say they have arrested two adults in the case and that more information would be released at a press conference later today. John Strangis/EN Media photo
As the homicide investigation was getting underway, officials were seen cordoning off the area and going door to door; searching for anyone who may have heard anything or who may have home security cameras that could shed light on what may have led to the evening’s deadly violence.
“Investigators from the Hemet Police Department immediately began gathering leads at the scene and have worked tirelessly to track down those responsible,” Gomez explained; saying, “Two adults have been arrested in this case and no other suspects are currently being sought.”
A neighbor who stood watching the police activity the night of the murders but requested to not be identified said from the scene that he knew the people living in the home.
Saying the home’s occupants were quiet and tended to mind their own business, the neighbor said he could not imagine what happened or could have led to the deadly violence and was shocked and surprised to learn what had occurred in his neighborhood.
Wednesday’s triple homicide followed just days after an unrelated triple homicide in neighboring Perris. John Strangis/EN Media photo
Officials are expected to release more information at a press conference, which is scheduled for later today at the City of Hemet Council Chambers at 3 p.m., and Gomez said no further information would be released until then.
Anyone with information regarding this ongoing investigation is urged to immediately contact Hemet PD Investigations Sgt. Gomez at (951)765-2396. Tips can also be provided anonymously via the Hemet Police Anonymous Tip Line (951) 765-3897 or the City’s Anonymous Tip Line: (866) 640-TIPS (8477).
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Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 16 grandchildren.