Fayetteville, N.C. — 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.