Scottsdale police hope murder-suicide case leads to more people reporting domestic incidents

Posted at 11:17 PM, Jul 07, 2016

Scottsdale police say two bodies found in an apartment complex near Scottsdale and McKellips roads earlier this week were a couple who died in a murder-suicide.

Police identified them as 27-year-old Samantha Drinkwater and 37-year-old Shoan Devine. Authorities say many neighbors reported hearing the couple fighting and even smelled a strong odor coming from the unit, but never called police.

“I would hear the fighting, not just once but a few times,” said neighbor Meshkat Samandari who lives next door. “The guy would be the aggressor. He would be like, ‘I lost my job because of you. I lost everything.’”

Samandari says he’s shocked that it turned deadly.

“It wasn’t a crazy fight so I minded my business,” said Samandari.

Domestic violence experts saying deadly cases make people scared to speak up. But it’s important to remember that anyone can always remain anonymous.

“It creates this chilling effect for fear of themselves but also the other person,” said Jessye Johnson with the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.

Experts say usually the victim is looking for help, but doesn't know where to turn.

“Emotions are complicated and usually the victim loves the abuser,” said Johnson.

Scottsdale police say callers should never be worried about wasting the time of law enforcement if it turns out to be nothing.

“We’re not inconvenienced by phone calls,” said Sgt. Ben Hoster with Scottsdale PD. “Knowing that someone could have called or said they smelled something out of place, goes back to the old, 'If you see something, say something.'”

If you or someone you know is or is suspected to be a victim of domestic violence, there are resources available. The coalition maintains a hotline, which can be reached by calling 602-279-2900 or 1-800-782-6400. More resources are available by clicking here.