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Possible motive in Riverside double murder

November 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Investigators with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department have made considerable progress in solving this case, and they've established a possible motive for the murders.Michael Barbar, 42, was arrested by authorities in New Mexico on Sunday. He has been charged with the murder of his 43-year-old wife Maysam Barbar and Maysam's 6-year-old daughter Tameera. Autopsies performed this week determined the cause of death.

"After the autopsy was done, the cause of death is strangulation. He strangled his wife, and then he strangled the 6-year-old girl," said Sgt. Dennis Gutierrez of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

The child had multiple areas of blunt force trauma on her body. Tameera's 10-year-old sister was in the house, but she was not injured, which was puzzling to investigators. On the day the bodies were discovered, a long-time neighbor offered this possible explanation.

"He was a real nice guy, he always said hi, waved to me every time he went down the street. You know real friendly neighbor everything," said Ray Reyes.

"I'm big-time shocked, you know, from what I see he seemed like a family guy and everything like that, and I think the divorce just ended up getting to him and maybe it pushed him over the edge," said Reyes.

Homicide detectives feel another reason is very possible.

"Very tragically, I guess through family members, he was able to find out that the 6-year-old girl wasn't his biologically, but he had raised her and most likely went into a rage," said Gutierrez.

Veteran investigators say that when they're investigating cases of murder by strangulation, usually the person who does the killing is motivated by a strong, personal anger.

Barbar is not fighting extradition, and he will be returning to Riverside County in the next two weeks. His 10-year-old daughter was not injured and is being cared for by relatives.


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