A Marine has been arrested on suspicion of killing a woman and her adult daughter near a Southern California desert base.
Rafael Ari Aikens, 22, was arrested Thursday at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department says.
Investigators suspect Aikens shot 62-year-old Renee Metcalf and her 32-year-old daughter, Christy McKissic.
Their bodies were found on March 24 in their home about 10 miles from the Marine base, where Aikens was stationed.
A Marine has been arrested on suspicion of killing a woman and her adult daughter near a Southern California desert base. Pictured are victims Renee Metcalf, 62, and her 32-year-old daughter, Christy McKissic
The sheriff’s department said in a news release that shortly after midnight on March 24, ‘deputies responded to a 911 call reference two people deceased inside of a residence’.
It said: ‘Deputies arrived at the residence at approximately 12:08 a.m., and found McKissic and Metcalf deceased from multiple gunshot wounds, inside of the residence.
‘A ten year old juvenile was located, unharmed, inside of the residence.’
Metcalf was a bartender, with her daughter helping her at a Twentynine Palms bar called the Virginian, the Hi-Desert Sun reported.
Authorities haven’t released a motive for the killings.
A GoFundMe page says: ‘These two ladies have made huge impacts on others. Always cheerful and full of life that they bring into the room.’
Metcalf was a bartender, with her daughter helping her at the Virginian bar in Twentynine Palms, it’s been reported
Their bodies were found on March 24 in their home in the 7700 block of Bedouin Avenue about 10 miles from the Marine base, where Aikens was stationed. Bedouin Avenue is seen here
‘This campaign is for their family and Christy’s daughter,’ the page says. ‘Her daughter is such an angel and for her to have to not have them here anymore is heartbreaking.’
The sheriff’s department said that since the day victims were found, investigators ‘have worked to identify the person responsible for the senseless murders of Christy McKissic and Renee Metcalf inside of their residence in Twentynine Palms.
‘During the last week, investigators identified Rafael Ari Aikens as a person of interest in the murders.
‘On Thursday, March 30, 2017 at approximately 6:50 p.m., homicide investigators, assisted by investigators from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), contacted Aikens at his assigned housing on MCAGCC 29 Palms.
‘At the conclusion of the contact with Aikens and the service of several search warrants, Aikens was booked into the Morongo Basin jail for the murders of McKissic and Metcalf.’
Aikens is being held without bail. An arraignment is an set for Tuesday, according to the Hi-Desert Star.
The Marine Corps didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from the Associated Press.