Local News

Fayetteville man cannot explain deaths of daughter, boyfriend

Posted July 12, 2013
Updated July 18, 2013

— The father of a Fayetteville woman killed in an apparent murder-suicide in Kansas said Friday that he's at a loss to explain what happened.

The housekeeping staff at a Holiday Inn Express in Bonner Springs, Kan., found Lacie Martinez, 20, and Michael James Jr., who was in his early 20s, surrounded by blood in a hotel room around noon Thursday, according to KCTV News in Kansas City.

Richard Martinez said detectives told him that James shot his daughter before turning the gun on himself. Detectives told him James wrote a note, but he said he doesn't know what it says.

James and Lacie Martinez were on their way to Seattle with their chihuahua to visit James' mother, Richard Martinez said. The couple left Tuesday and planned to spend a week in Washington and another week in Arizona before returning to North Carolina, he said.

"I thought she was in very good hands," Richard Martinez said. "I just don't understand it."

James and Lacie Martinez planned to enroll in Sandhills Community College next month. Lacie Martinez, a 2011 graduate of Southview High School in Hope Mills, wanted to be a nurse, according to her father.

"She always liked helping people, and she felt like, being a nurse, she could really help people," he said.

The couple met at a Japanese restaurant in October where they both worked. Richard Martinez described them as "good kids" who had so much going for them.

He said James was always respectful to him and never gave any indication something was wrong between him and his daughter.

"They were always, I mean, constantly smiling and happy," Richard Martinez said. "She was telling her sister – and even she was telling me – 'You know, he's so good to me, Papa. He makes me happy and everything.'"

The couple lived with James' father in Vass but were looking for a home of their own, Richard Martinez said. His daughter had even talked of getting married, he said.

"I love her, and I'm going to miss her forever," he said.

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  • LOC Jul 19, 3:31 p.m.

    How sad! Praying for al involved.

  • cheytownx1 Jul 12, 6:11 p.m.

    I am so very sorry for both families. I do hope the dog was not harm in any way. God bless both families.

  • imanpayne09 Jul 12, 6:00 p.m.

    Mike James is one of my best friends. I refuse to believe he is capable of such a terrible act and I pray this isn't true. I hate that seeing people be so mean when they haven't gotten the full story and they don't know mike personally. He has never been an angry or violent person. Rest in Peace Mike and Lacie

  • beachboater Jul 12, 5:29 p.m.

    Sorry, but I just don't understand how news media can interview a grieving family. This isn't news, it's a family matter.

    Give them some privacy and a chance to grieve.

  • Obamacare rules Jul 12, 3:59 p.m.

    I feel bad for the hotel employees who discovered this.

  • educgrad Jul 12, 3:14 p.m.

    so sad,hope they can get some answers to give some sort of closure to their families

  • NewLovingLIfe Jul 12, 3:04 p.m.

    So sad and tragic!!

  • Conservative Jul 12, 1:46 p.m.

    What a shame! Goodness knows what they could have achieved if this had not happened! Sympathies to both families.

  • Fireflies Rock Jul 12, 1:34 p.m.

    so tragic. I hope the note he left gives some sort of explanation for such an apparently inexplicable act.