SPOKANE, Wash.—A man with horns tattooed on his forehead faced a judge Monday on murder charges. Juan Edward Sifuentez is accused of murdering his girlfriend’s mother and stuffing her body in the trunk.
The Spokane County Medical Examiner identified the victim on Monday as Latayna Chapin, 51. Chapin was beaten and stabbed according to investigators. The Medical Examiner said Chapin died of blunt head and neck injuries and neck compression.
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Chapin’s daughter admitted to helping her boyfriend load her mother’s body into her car. The couple abandoned the car near the Fred Meyer in South Spokane. The car sat there for about two months.
“He looked at me in the face and said, ‘no’ when he was asked that question. I know my son and I told him to say the truth,” said Velia Duenas, the mother of accused murderer Juan Sifuentez.
Sifuentez’s family was standing by him and said they believe him when he denies killing Chapin.
Chapin’s daughter, Rachael Colby, was also charged with the murder.
READ: Boyfriend accused of killing girlfriend's mother in Spokane Valley
Chapin’s beaten body was found wrapped in sheets and plastic in the trunk area of her car.
Sources close to Chapin said she was trying to leave the area. They said Chapin had helped support the couple but wanted to be done. Sifuentez’s family said that was ridiculous.
“I really don't know. I mean I sent him money. I had just transferred him money,” said Duenas.
Court records showed the couple accessed Chapin’s bank account after detectives believe she was dead.
The father of Chapin’s son, Brent Stump, said Chapin asked if she could stay with him in February. Stump lived in the Tri-Cities.
“She was supposed to come back here. I got a text from her on the 24th,” said Stump.
Documents showed detectives believed Chapin was murdered inside a duplex in the Spokane Valley just after the text was sent. Documents showed detectives believed she was murdered between February 24 and February 28.
Stump said Chapin was living in fear after discovering the couple’s involvement in some serious crimes.
“I don't know if she was scared of Rachael, but she was scared of her boyfriend,” said Stump. “Latanya had talked to me about them stealing cars. She was really freaked out about it.”
Documents showed Colby told detectives to search a storage unit in the Spokane Valley for a baseball bat that was used as the murder weapon. She said Sifuentez told her to hide it there.
Records showed detectives found what appeared to be that murder weapon.