Law enforcement investigate apparent murder-suicide; DVS shares resources to help people
NEAR PROSSER, Wash. —
The Benton County Sheriff's Office says they're continuing to investigate last week's apparent murder-suicide near Prosser.
The shooting took place in a vineyard off of Hinzerling Road Thursday night.
That's where sheriff deputies found Teresa Meraz-Cisneros, 39, and her husband Heriberto Martinez-Sanchez, 49.
Officials say Meraz-Cisneros died at the scene after being shot several times.
Martinez-Sanchez was found alive with a single gunshot wound to the head.
He later died in a hospital Friday afternoon.
Deputies say there was a protection order on Martinez-Sanchez preventing him from contacting Meraz-Cisneros and a Brady indicator prohibiting him from having or buying a gun.
Lt. Erik Magnuson says they're investigating the history of the firearm to find out how and if it's relevant to the homicide.
He also says this isn't the first time they've seen a protection order violated.
"Most of the time it does help, but there are times unfortunately like in this where it didn't."
Domestic violence remains a common issue in communities. It's one that Donna Linley with Domestic Violence Services of Benton and Franklin Counties deals with every day. They receive about 200 to 300 phone calls each month.
Some of the services DVS provides includes a 24-hour crisis line, advice on how to build safety plans and provide emergency shelters for people in escalating domestic violence situations.
But Linley says they're also turning their attention to prevention by talking to teens.
“They work with girls and boys to talk about healthy relationships and how they can be a healthy partner and also to see the red flags when something’s not being healthy.”
By teaching them early, DVS hopes to prevent abusive relationships from escalating into tragedy like the one in Benton County.
DVS is located at 3311 W. Clearwater Ave. in Kennewick.
For more information about DVS, click here.
Check out their Facebook page here.