HANFORD, California - Authorities arrested two suspects over the weekend in what police described as a gruesome homicide.
Officers say Stacie Mendoza, 38, and Jose Mendoza, 36, are accused of killing 68-year-old Kenneth Coyle, of Hanford.
The Hanford Police Department called the homicide an “evil, hateful crime.”
Authorities said Stacie met Coyle at a local restaurant – where Stacie was a waitress. The two built what appeared to be a genuine relationship over a period of six to eight months.
At that point, police said Stacie began to defraud or steal money from Coyle.
The situation got so bad that the Mendozas killed Coyle, police said.
The pair tied up Coyle at his home in Hanford and beat him until they got information out of him that they wanted – credit card and bank information, police said.
After killing Coyle, the Mendozas dumped his body in rural Madera County. Then they set it on fire, police said.
Police said both Stacie and Jose – along with their three children – watched Coyles body burn.
The couple told the management at Coyle’s home that he’d been in an accident and that he’d be taken care of at a location in the Bay Area, and they needed to get into the home to get his belongings.
The property manager called authorities.