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 Raya, 39.

Erik Charles Grumpelt (seen below in photo) was arrested and charged with one count of Second Degree Murder.

Erik Grumpelt 



Mesa Police Department
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PO Box 1466
Mesa, AZ 85211

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