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  • José Luis Villegas /

    Sacramento County deputies and paramedics work near a walking trail at the intersection of Vineyard and Crystal Creek Drive. A witness said he saw a woman fatally shot, then saw the gunman killed himself.

  • Jose Luis Villegas /

    A deputy lifts yellow tape for a communications worker who said he saw a murder-suicide in Vineyard.

Sacramento sheriff’s detectives investigate murder-suicide in Vineyard area

Published: Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 - 2:35 pm

A quiet walking trail in the Vineyard community became the scene of a Valentine’s Day tragedy as detectives investigated a murder-suicide.

The man and woman had not been identified by Friday night, and authorities said they were unsure of their relationship.

A communications company employee working in the area of Vineyard Road and Crystal Creek Drive told detectives he saw the man and woman get out of a parked car and head toward a paved walking path that borders Laguna Creek, said Sacramento County sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Ramos.

The witness later told detectives that there had been “no indication of arguing, no indications of tension he could see, nothing that would cause him any concern,” Ramos said.

The employee soon heard a gunshot, and looked over to see the woman on the ground, Ramos said. The employee then watched the man shoot himself, he told detectives. He called 911 about 1 p.m.

Deputies responded to the area and found the bodies near the trail head on the west side of Vineyard Road, north of Crystal Creek. Detectives discovered a gun near the bodies, Ramos said.

Investigators were investigating whether a car parked nearby belonged to either person, Ramos said.

The man appeared to be in his 60s or 70s and the woman appeared to be in her 50s or 60s, he said.

As the scene remained taped off into the afternoon, neighbors drifted up to the yellow tape to inquire about what happened.

Jon Sheley, 59, lives near the scene and said it is typically a peaceful neighborhood. He moved to Vineyard about 10 years ago in part to get away from all the police activity he saw in the Rosemont area.

“It’s a really quiet area,” he said.

Call The Bee’s Kim Minugh, (916) 321-1038. Follow her on Twitter @Kim_Minugh.

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