Kira Trevino is still missing, but police believe they have her killer -- her husband -- in custody, and domestic violence experts say simple probability led police to their suspect.
Investigators didn't have to look far to find a suspect in 37-year-old Jeffrey Trevino, who is currently being held in the Ramsey County Jail pending formal charges -- but while they have a suspect, they do not have a body.
Kira Trevino's family members told FOX 9 News they knew something was terribly wrong when she went missing last Thursday. Their fears were confirmed when her car was found in a corner of the Mall of America parking lot, and their suspicions were validated when Jeffrey Trevino was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Experts say there's a reason police always look to the husband, saying it's just simple probability.
"What we know from FBI statistics over time -- and they've been tracking this for a number of years now, 30 percent of all female homicides are the result of domestic homicides," said Carol Arthur, of the Domestic Abuse Project.
The Trevino case is a grim reminder of one of the most notorious unsolved murder cases in Twin Cities' history. Minneapolis police discovered a car belonging to Anne Dunlap in a K-Mart parking lot after she had been missing for several days. Investigators also found her body in the trunk.
Standing in the parking lot that New Year's Day in 1996, Brad Dunlap -- unlike Trevino's husband -- was cooperative in the beginning, talking freely to police and the media. Until he became the prime suspect, that is.
Brad Dunlap told police his wife had gone to the Mall of America to shop for shoes, but detectives soon discovered he had a motive. Brad Dunlap had taken out a large insurance policy on his wife, even signing her name.
What police didn't have in that case was a crime scene; although, detectives believe Anne Dunlap was likely murdered inside her parent's home because they discovered drops of blood in the garage.
Likewise, St. Paul police say they have discovered evidence in the Trevino home, but won't describe what that evidence may be. Meanwhile, the search for her continues.
Brad Dunlap was never arrested or charged in his wife's murder although he had motive, opportunity and means. He now lives in the Phoenix area, but Minneapolis police say the case is still open.
Yet, Jeffrey Trevino remains jailed -- and the clock is ticking. Prosecutors have 48 hours to charge Jeffrey Trevino or get an extension.
Both cases are also similar in that there was no apparent history of domestic violence, but experts say there are warning signs that signal when an abusive relationship can turn fatal.
Arthur explained that any time a weapon is used or if there is an attempted strangulation, that's a big red flag. She said other signs include excessive jealousy or controlling behavior.
Anyone who needs assistance escaping from domestic violence can call the state hotline for help at 1-866-223-1111. Statewide, staff members are prepared to help victims access one of 35 shelters in Minnesota.
KDFW FOX 4
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