Investigators say 50-year old Todd Pate killed 42-year old Melanie Pate Monday afternoon at their Hanford home on nutmeg place located near 11th and Flint Avenues.
Officers have a pretty good idea of the motive based upon evidence and interviews they have collected, but cannot elaborate on the details.
Investigators accuse Todd Pate of slicing the throat of his wife Melanie then submerging her in their swimming pool where she eventually died.
“No other people were present at the time of the incident,” said Detective Richard Pontecorvo of Hanford Police.
Police say it was Todd who dialed 911 and confessed to the murder. Officers arrested him without incident and recovered a weapon.
“I would never suspect this from these people,” said Det. Pontecorvo.
“She was my friend you know and I’m not going to see her anymore,” said Arman Anzures, a neighbor.
Arman Anzures lives next door. He says the couple was going through a divorce.
“I hadn’t seen him for a while, so I figured he moved out and then I saw his car there this morning when we were going to town,” said Anzures.
“You know the neighbors going through something like that is scary,” said James Mitchell, a neighbor.
James Mitchell shares a back fence with the Pates. He is a retired law enforcement officer who has seen a lot, but says this murder really hits home.
“The difference is it’s happening right here in my backyard basically,” said Mitchell.
Neighbors say Melanie ran a child care service. Todd was in the grocery business. They have two children, one in middle school and the other a bit older. The family was deeply involved in little league.
“It’s just a horrible thing in the community because everyone is so close,” said Che Love, a neighbor.
“It’s a small community and she’s well-known as he was, so it’s a tragic incident in this neighborhood and for Hanford,” said Det. Pontecorvo.
Police say they have not had any previous calls for service at the Pate home and there is no history of domestic violence between the couple.
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