ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A missing Minnesota woman's husband was charged Thursday with murder, after investigators found blood on the floor, furniture, walls and stairs of the couple's home as well as evidence of an extensive effort to cover it up.
Authorities said they have not found 30-year-old Kira Trevino's body, but they believe she's dead because of the amount of blood found in her car and in the couple's St. Paul home, and because it wasn't like her to disappear without telling anyone.
Jeffery Dale Trevino, 39, made an initial court appearance Thursday on two counts of second-degree murder in his wife's death, which investigators believe happened last Thursday or Friday. Bail was set at $1 million.
Trevino's attorney, John Conard, said he believes his client is innocent and that Trevino has no idea where his wife is.
According to police, Trevino called Sunday to report that he hadn't heard from his wife since Friday morning, when he said she went to run errands. He told officers she was going through a "mid-life crisis" and had been leaving for up to three days at a time and lying about where she was staying.
Kira Trevino didn't stop in at her job at the Mall of America on Friday or work her scheduled Saturday shift. Her car was found in the back corner of a parking lot at the mall.
According to the criminal complaint, investigators searched the couple's home and found "copious" amounts of blood evidence and signs of an extensive effort to clean it up. A carpet cleaner had what appeared to be blood and human tissue on it, and investigators also found bleach and bleach-stained towels in the kitchen, and a mop and bucket in the hall.
In the bedroom, forensic examiners found blood on the floor and wall, box spring, bed frame, closet, and book shelf, the complaint said. There was also blood evidence in the living room, kitchen, hallway, basement, and in the laundry area — where authorities found freshly washed towels.
Investigators found a blood stain shaped like a human head and torso under the bedroom carpet. They said the amount of blood spatter is consistent with "more than one forceful blow."
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said he is confident prosecutors can prove Kira Trevino was killed, even without a body.
"All the schemes and his efforts to cover up his crime have been foiled by a lot of hard work by the investigators involved in this case," Choi said.
Police in Bloomington recovered video from the Mall of America showing Kira Trevino's car entering the parking lot Friday morning. The video isn't clear enough to show who was in the car, but someone can be seen throwing what appears to be a trunk liner away from the car.
The person then got into a cab, which had a GPS tracker, and was dropped off near Trevino's home, the complaint said.
After her car was found in the mall parking lot, St. Paul police ordered it towed, and the tow truck operator saw what looked like blood around the trunk. Police also found a trunk liner near the car, which tested positive for blood, the complaint said.
Family members and friends told police that Kira Trevino had been unhappy and had talked about moving out over the past few months.
Kira Trevino's family members were in court Thursday, and her sister clapped as the bail was set. They left without passing by reporters. Her mother, Marcie Steger, told The Star Tribune that Jeffery Trevino's alleged role in the case was hard to understand.
"The fact that we trusted him to take care of (Kira), to be there for her. It's anger. It's shock. You just don't even want to go there," Steger said.
Jeffery Trevino's family members, many of whom traveled from Arkansas for the hearing, sobbed during the court appearance and had no comment as they left.
"They are grieving. His wife was like a daughter to them. ... They love her," Conard said. "They are hoping and praying that she will be found and found alive, and that if not, they hope the police go and find whoever did this."
Conard said Jeffery Trevino has no criminal record and he has served in the Army, where he was stationed in Germany.
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