Mesa resident Erik Grumpelt is facing a second-degree murder charge after he admitted to killing his girlfriend to his father, and then reportedly lived with the corpse for two months, reports ABC15 News.
According to Mesa police officers, Grumpelt admitted he struck 39-year-old Malinda Raya several times in the gut in May because she allegedly cheated on him with other men. When he returned to her unresponsive body, he reportedly panicked and hid her body under the bed, wrapping her in sheets over the course of two months, as the smell worsened.
Interestingly, Raya was not reported missing, unlike another recent alleged killing by a boyfriend in the Valley.
Police arrived on Monday to find a scene straight out of a movie - the room covered with several air fresheners and the body adorned in several sheets and what looked like to be carpet freshener.
"I can't believe this kind of thing happens around here," neighbor Manual Garcia told ABC15.
Police arrested Grumpelt on Tuesday and charged him with one count of second-degree murder.
Typically, a person is accused of second degree murder if the killing is: 1) intentional but not planned or committed in a reasonable "heat of passion"; or 2) caused by dangerous conduct and the suspect's obvious lack of concern for human life.
One of the touchstones of the American legal system is the presumption that you are innocent until proven guilty, but it's going to be a hard road for Erik Grumpelt's attorney to combat a second-degree murder charge with a potpourri-festooned body and a confession.
- Find a Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer (FindLaw)
- Mesa Police: Man Killed Girlfriend, Lived with Body (The Arizona Republic)
- Murder: Second Degree (FindLaw)
- Defending Yourself Against a Criminal Charge (FindLaw)