A couple wanted in connection to four murders spanning two states were found dead last week in an Arizona desert after a high-speed police chase and a four-hour standoff, according to law-enforcement officials.
Hunter McGuire, 26, was found with a rifle on his chest lying beside his girlfriend, Samantha Branek, 32, on Friday.
Both had single gunshot wounds to their heads. Officials said that McGuire appeared to have shot himself, but it was unclear if Branek’s injury was self-inflicted, according to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Department.
The couple was sought in connection to the June 28 double slaying of Retta Atkins, 73, known locally as the “Gold Lady,” and her longtime boyfriend Darren VanHouten, 50, in her Kingman, Arizona, home, officials said.
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Atkins owned the store Gold Lady in Golden Valley, which sells prospecting equipment to miners.
The murderous lovers fled to Las Vegas, where they were hiding out until McGuire allegedly got into a dispute with a woman he was staying with Oct. 17 and fatally shot her, local authorities said.
Branek was captured on surveillance video the same day pawning the slain victim’s valuables, according to Las Vegas police.
An arrest warrant was issued for the pair and police described McGuire as “armed and dangerous” in a wanted poster and warned the public “DO NOT APPROACH. Call 911.”
The modern day Bonnie and Clyde fled back to Arizona – less than two days later, another body turned up in their wake.
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Deputies responded to a call of a possible homicide at a home near S. Centennial Road and W. Geronimo Drive in Golden Valley.
They found 35-year-old Martin Eric Nelson Jr. with a gunshot wound to the head, lain behind a car on the property.
While detectives processed the crime scene, Timothy Wayne Burt, 42, strolled up to the house and said he was there when Nelson was shot and had been hiding nearby for 12 hours.
Burt told detectives that he and Nelson showed up at 2 a.m. to pick up a trailer that had been stolen from him. When they arrived, McGuire opened fire.
However, Burt’s story kept changing, police said. He denied having a gun, then admitted he had returned fire in the shootout. He denied having a phone to call for help, then claimed he had used his phone.
He was arrested and charged with hindering prosecution.
Two days later, a deputy in a patrol car spotted Branek’s silver Hyundai Elantra on Alamo Road in Yucca, but when he pulled up behind the car, the driver sped off.
Police pursued the speeding vehicle for 35 miles until it slid off the road and occupants Branek, McGuire and a woman later identified as 23-year-old Brittany Conkling, fled into the desert, which was dense with brush and trees. Conkling soon surrendered.
A helicopter identified the location of Branek and McGuire, and the Lake Havasu City Police Department SWAT team stormed into the desert after four hours of stalled negotiations. They found the couple dead.
McGuire is a suspect in at least two other murder investigations, authorities said.