The married couple who were found dead over Christmas in a hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in an apparent murder-suicide have been identified as former worshippers.
The Adams and Broomfield Counties Coroner’s Office on Wednesday identified the couple as Melissa Susanna Martinez, 44, and Enoch Noah Apodaca, 46.
An autopsy has been performed on the couple and their causes of death are currently being investigated, the coroner’s office said in a news release.
Police in Thornton, about 10 miles north of Denver, said the two were former members of the congregation. The husband shot and killed his wife before turning the gun on himself.
Martinez and Apodaca were discovered at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses at Federal Heights Congregation around 9 a.m. Sunday morning.
Along with the couple, authorities discovered three “suspicious devices,” which are currently being investigated by the Adams County Sheriff’s Office Hazardous Materials Unit.
Firefighters were first called to the scene following reports of the blaze, but the incendiary devices were made safe and police said there were no other suspects and the community was not was not threatened.
No one else was injured as a result of the incident, police said.
The Sherrelwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses said it was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the Christmas morning shooting.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the unprovoked attack and loss of life at our Kingdom Hall in Thornton. We are cooperating with the authorities as they conduct their investigation into the event,” the congregation told ABC 7 Denver.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of those who have been traumatized by the heinous acts which claimed the life of an innocent victim and threatened the lives of many others. We pray for the families of all those affected.
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or experiencing a mental health crisis and live in New York City, you can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free, confidential crisis counseling. If you live outside the five boroughs, you can call the national suicide prevention hotline 24/7 at 988 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.