Coachella is a thriving community in the Palm Springs area, with a population of about 45,000 people. 75 percent of the residents of Coachella live in homes with children under the age of 18. Families are attracted to Coachella in part because of a solid school system. There are now two public high schools and three middle schools serving the community.

In addition to solid, even award-winning schools, Coachella has a myriad of entertainment, recreational, and cultural opportunities. In addition, the city has a relatively low crime rate, indeed notable lower than the Riverside County average. The low crime rate doesn’t mean that Coachella is without incidents of unlawful conduct. Indeed, in the summer of 2018, a particularly shocking murder-suicide upset the normal placid life of Coachella.

Mother-Son Murder-Suicide Rocks Coachella

A family that included a 56-year old mother and a 36-year old son lived in an apartment in the Cedar Springs complex in Coachella. A younger son arrived at the residence to find a bloody scene and both his mother and older brother unresponsive. He immediately called 911.

Sheriff’s deputies and paramedics were dispatched to the scene. The mother and son were declared dead at the scene. The Riverside County Coroner was then called to the apartment.

Together, law enforcement and the coroner’s team conducted a thorough investigation at the scene. Ultimately, the bodies of the two deceased family members were taken to the coroner’s office for forensic testing and autopsies.

When the investigation at the scene was completed, law enforcement and the coroner determined that both individuals had been shot. They also ascertained that the son had shot and killed his mother and then took his own life. The autopsies confirmed this determination.

Through interviews in the neighborhood, sheriff’s deputies learned that the son who shot his mother had been considered to be suffering from mental health issues for an extended period of time. There was no elaboration on the specifics, however.

When law enforcement and the coroner completed their investigation at the scene, the apartment was turned over to the surviving adult family members who also resided in the residence. This includes the younger son who discovered his family members after the shootings.

A common misconception persists that law enforcement or the coroner undertake what technically is known as biohazard cleanup following a homicide, suicide, accident, or other types of a traumatic or violent event. They do not. Complete responsibility for biohazard cleanup rests in the hands of surviving family members. In the event that the residence is rented, and there is no remaining tenant at the property, cleanup responsibility shifts to the landlord (the property owner or property management company).

After a Murder, Suicide, or Other Violent Incident

When some sort of violent or traumatic incident occurs, like a murder or suicide, the aftermath truly can be something out of a gory film. Loved ones of a person who has died in a violent or traumatic manner already face what can only be described as tremendous grief. If family members elect to take on the cleanup process on their own, they will only compound their grief. Indeed, they may make an already challenging bereavement process positively untenable.

As a result of the emotional impact, death scene cleanup can have on family members and other loved ones, the consistent recommendation is that people in this position seek professional biohazard cleanup in Coachella assistance.

Homicide, Suicide and Dangerous Biohazards

In addition to the emotional ramifications associated with personally undertaking the clean up of a death scene, there is another significant reason to seek professional biohazard cleanup in Coachella assistance. Blood, bodily fluids, and other biological materials can contain what medically is classified as dangerous pathogens. These pathogens can include dangerous viruses and bacteria that include:

  • MRSA
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • MRSA

A biohazard cleanup professional understands how to safely and thoroughly remediate the aftermath of a violent or traumatic death. Unlike laypeople, these well-trained specialists have the background, tools, equipment, materials and other resources needed to appropriately remediate a biohazardous situation.

Coachella Grief Therapists

Following the tragic loss of a family member or other loved one, grief can be persistent and profound. Oftentimes, a person in this position needs professional support, including individual grief therapy or group grief therapy. There are Coachella grief therapists that stand ready to assist a person address with grief and bereavement in a healthy manner:

Latino Commission Counseling Center
Coachella, California 92236
(760) 392-6205

Yvette Avila Gastelum
1612 1st Street
Coachella, California 92236
(760) 574-4248

The grief therapists will schedule an initial consultation to consider what course of action makes the most sense for a grieving person. There usually is no charge for that type of preliminary consult.

Photo Courtesy of Randy Heinitz.

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