Suspect Charged with 2nd Degree Murder
July 26, 2011
On July 25, 2011 at approximately 9:30am, the Mesa Police
Department responded to an apartment located at 1362 S.
Vineyard, after receiving a call from the Chandler Police
Department. The Chandler Fire and Police Departments responded
to a residence in Chandler, reference an unresponsive adult
male, later identified as Erik C. Grumpelt, 35. During that
call, Chandler Police received information regarding a dead body
at the South Vineyard apartment. The information had been
provided by Erik Grumpelt's father, who told officers that Erik
told him he had accidentally killed his girlfriend. Erik also
told his father this had occurred one to two months prior and
the deceased victim was still inside the apartment.
When Mesa Police officers approached the apartment, they could
smell the strong odor of decomposition outside the front door.
Officers entered the apartment and discovered a deceased person
in the lone bedroom of the apartment. The victim was covered in
multiple layers of bed sheets. Homicide investigators executed a
search warrant upon the apartment early last evening. They
located a female in an advanced state of decomposition lying on
the bedroom floor covered in several sheets. There were several
room fresheners found in the bedroom and powder, believed to be
carpet freshener, was sprinkled on the area around where the
victim lay. The victim's body was taken to the Office of the
Medical Examiner for further investigation.
Erik Grumpelt was admitted to Chandler Regional Hospital the
morning of July 25, 2011 and was released the morning of July
26, 2011. He was transported to the Mesa Police Department for
an interview with investigators. During his interview he
provided significant statements about what had occurred at his
apartment. He told investigators he assaulted his girlfriend on
the morning of May 19, 2011. He explained he struck her several
times in the lower abdominal area while laying on their bed. He
said he left for a short period of time and when he returned the
victim was unresponsive on the bed. He said he attempted to
perform CPR; however, the victim never regained consciousness.
He stated he panicked and initially placed the victim underneath
their bed. As the odor of decomposition got worse, he wrapped
several sheets around the victim's body in an attempt to mask
the odor. When asked why he repeatedly struck the victim on May
19, 2011, Grumpelt told investigators he was angry because the
victim had purportedly told him she had cheated on him with
other men in his bed. The victim has been identified as Malinda
Erik Charles Grumpelt (seen below in photo) was arrested and
charged with one count of Second Degree Murder.