Courtesy of the Mesa Police Department
A Mesa man lived with his girlfriend's dead body in their apartment for more than two months after he killed her in a fit of rage for cheating on him, police said Tuesday.
Erik K. Grumpelt, 35, told police that he slammed his knee into his girlfriend's lower abdomen three to four times after she told him she had slept with other men in their bed, Mesa police Sgt. Ed Wessing said.
The victim, whose decomposing body was found under a blanket on the bedroom floor Monday, has been identified as Malinda Raya, 39, Wessing said. She had not been reported missing, Wessing said.
Raya did not put up a fight, Grumpelt told police, adding that he tried to perform CPR on her for 30 minutes after the attack, then panicked and put her under the bed, Wessing said.
Grumpelt told police he later wrapped the body in sheets and used carpet deodorizer and other chemicals to try to mask the odor, Wessing said.
He also changed the locks to the apartment to make it difficult for the landlord or police to discover the corpse, Wessing said.
Police kicked down the door of the Shorebird Apartment Homes near U.S. 60 and Country Club Drive when, acting on a tip from paramedics, they said they discovered the rotting body surrounded by powdered carpet deodorizer and room fresheners.
Grumpelt was charged with second-degree murder Tuesday afternoon, Wessing said.
The incident came to light after Grumpelt stayed at his father's Chandler home Sunday night and told him he may have accidentally killed his girlfriend. Police said the original assault occurred May 19 at 5:30 a.m.
The father found Raya unresponsive Monday morning and called paramedics. He alerted them to what his son had told him, and paramedics then alerted police. Grumpelt was being held without bond.
Neighbors told police Grumpelt had often driven the victim's car. Police executed a search warrant on the vehicle and found a letter inside, addressed to "Dad," in which the writer admitted to killing the victim.
Grumpelt tested positive to amphetamine and admitted to having a drug addiction.