SAN TAN VALLEY (3TV/CBS 5) - A San Tan Valley woman was first reported missing then found murdered, and police believe it was her boyfriend who killed her and then took his own life.
[ORIGINAL STORY: Man, woman dead after apparent murder-suicide in Apache Junction]
Friends and family have created a makeshift memorial at the same location where her body was found.
Paying final respects and fighting back tears, Paola Sanchez says she still can't believe what happened to her friend and co-worker Natasha Arredondo.
“My heart dropped. We didn't want it to be what we thought it was, murder-suicide, but that's what it ended up being."
Arredondo’s family reported her missing Friday night from her San Tan Valley home that she shared with her boyfriend, 30-year-old Stuart Milne. The boyfriend police now believe killed Arredondo.
“It’s not right. She didn't deserve it,” said Sanchez.
Apache Junction police began searching for Milne after they were contacted by Goodyear police requesting assistance based on a tip that Milne was armed and suicidal and had made statements that he had done something to Arredondo.
Police pulled him over near Ironwood and Guadalupe roads and as they approached his car, they say they heard a gunshot, and found Milne had shot himself.
Saturday morning, police found Arredondo’s body shot multiple times at a remote industrial area in Apache Junction, near Houston and Delaware roads. It's now the site of growing memorial to honor Arredondo's memory.
"She was a very happy person, very kind. Always smiled, always laughed,” said Sanchez.
Family and co-workers say the couple worked together as detention officers at a private prison in Florence, and they say they never saw anything like this coming.