Residents of the San Riva Apartments on Liberty Lane in Ahwatukee watched apprehensively April 28 as Goodyear police swarmed into the complex’s parking lot.
Even a SWAT armored vehicle was on hand, heightening their concern.
But within about an hour of the show of force, all that residents saw was a filled body bag being wheeled out to a county Medical Examiner’s vehicle.
And what police had found in one of the second-floor apartments was the body of Lisa Couty, 37, whom they had planned to arrest in the shooting death of the victim a day earlier.
Goodyear Police refused to answer any questions about the murder-suicide.
They issued a news release saying that police had arrived at the residence of Todd Vermillion, 41, shortly after midnight April 27.
The release said family members had asked police to make a welfare check at Vermillion’s home in the 8800 block of S. 165th Ave. in Goodyear. Officers found his body with a fatal gunshot wound.
“Due to the suspicious circumstances, this quickly turned into a homicide investigation,” the release said, saying “Couty became the prime suspect.”
But police did not say why she had quickly become the prime suspect in the slaying or if they had found any motive.
Nor have they said whether Couty
took her life with her gun as they arrived or if she had been dead long before they got there.
All the Goodyear Police would say is that Phoenix Police are treating Couty’s death as a suicide.
“This case is being treated as an ongoing murder investigation involving the apparent suicide of the suspect,” the Goodyear Police release said, adding “this to be an isolated incident involving a domestic relationship and do not believe there is a danger to either community.”