Arizona Department of Corrections officer dead in murder-suicide www.privateofficer.com
Phoenix AZ Aug 30 2012 The two north Phoenix women found dead of a suspected murder-suicide fought like cats and dogs, a neighbor said.
Phoenix police found Dallas Augustine, 32, and Jessie McCaskill, 50, Monday night dead of gunshot wounds in the family room of their rental home in the 16000 block of 11th Place. A relative of McCaskill’s called police for a welfare check after the woman was last seen on Thursday.
Augustine, who worked for the Arizona Department of Corrections in Florence, was suspected of shooting McCaskill before killing herself, Sgt. Trent Crump said in a Tuesday news conference. Crump would only say that the weapon used was a handgun, which was recovered from the scene.
The two women have been in a relationship for eight years, Crump said. Interviews with family and friends indicated there were “problems in their relationship,” police said.
Philip Allen, who lives next door to the two women, said the two had loud fights, three to four times a month.
“They fought pretty hard and screamed at each other,” said Allen, 65, who knew the two for about two years. “Sometimes you’ll be inside your house and you can hear them, hear something break once in a while.”
Allen said when the two were outside, they were “nice and easy-going.”
Allen said he didn’t know what the two would argue about and didn’t recall seeing physical injury on either of the women. He doesn’t recalled police ever coming to the house until Monday evening.
He said he heard the two “yelling and screaming at each other” last Wednesday or Thursday but didn’t pay attention to it.
He said the women’s two dogs barked incessantly over the weekend, which was unusual but Augustine’s black Dodge Ram truck was parked in the driveway so that alleviated his concerns.
“They were nice neighbors as far as I was concerned,” Allen said.
The Associated Press reported that Augustine was the daughter of a murdered former Nevada state lawmaker.
Police said it appeared that one of the two women was packing her belongings to leave.
Allen, however, said the lease on the home was up and that both women were moving out to be closer to their jobs.
Augustine’s mother, Nevada Controller Kathy Augustine, died in her Reno home in 2006. Her husband, Chaz Higgs, was later convicted of murdering her by injecting her with a paralytic drug, according to news accounts.