Brigitte Julie Shaw, Woman Found Dead in Aliso Viejo, Believed Murder-Suicide Victim

Categories: Crime-iny

See the update at the end of this post with the woman believed to have been the victim of a murder-suicide carried out by her boyfriend.

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Sheriff's detectives from Orange and San Bernardino counties are investigating the woman's death.

ORIGINAL POST, JULY 8, 9:07 A.M.: San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies serving a search warrant in an Aliso Viejo apartment Monday evening were surprised to find a woman's body there, authorities say.

Orange County sheriff's dispatchers at 5:58 p.m. put out the call to their deputies to "assist outside agency" in an apartment in the 23400 block of Summerfield.

Deputies arrived at what a videographer told City News Service is a series high-end, three-story apartments to discover their counterparts from San Bernardino County had found a body.

Both departments are now working together on the death investigation, according to Lt. Jeff Hallock, the OC sheriff's spokesman.

The woman's identity and how she died have not yet been released.

"An autopsy of the body is scheduled for today, Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.," Hallock disclosed today.

Anyone who can help investigators is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff's Department Homicide Unit at 714.647.7055 or leave anonymous tips with Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855.847.6227 (855-TIP-OCCS) and/or at occrimestoppers.org.

UPDATE, JULY 9, 3:36 P.M.: The death of a woman whose body was found in an Aliso Viejo apartment by San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies serving a search warrant is believed to have been the result of murder-suicide, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD).

Brigitte Julie Shaw, 49, has been identified as the victim found during the search of her St. Mortiz Apartments unit, according to Lt. Jeff Hallock, the OCSD spokesman.

What had sent the San Bernardino County deputies to that apartment was Sunday's discovery of the body of Shaw's boyfriend in an unincorporated area near Hesperia, Hallock says. At about 5 a.m., California Highway Patrol officers and San Bernardino County firefighters responded to a crash on Highway 138 east of Summit Valley Road, where they found a vehicle on the side of the road. Philip Alexander Smyth, 50 and a resident of the same Aliso Viejo apartment, was found dead behind the wheel with a slashed throat.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner later deemed Smyth's injuries self-inflicted and his death a suicide.

"It is believed Shaw had been deceased for several days; the manner and cause of death is pending toxicology results," Hallock informs. "... Evidence gathered from Orange and San Bernardino County has given investigators reason to believe the deaths are a result of murder-suicide with Smyth being the suspect."

Investigators continue to seek more information. Call the Orange County Sheriff's Department Homicide Unit at 714.647.7055 or leave anonymous tips with Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855.847.6227 (855-TIP-OCCS) and/or at occrimestoppers.org.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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19 comments
seanie.rotten
seanie.rotten

She was very loved by many and will be missed greatly.

Josh English
Josh English

Sad. I just hope no one starts with the silly, naive, "I can't believe this happened here....", small-town bullshit.

Hung Ho
Hung Ho

Does sound a little fishy. Typically people don't slash their own throats for murder-suicide. Seems to me this is just what their saying in hopes that the real perpetrator starts talking, because either the investigators have no clue or just want confirmation of who they suspect to be the perpetrator.

Kathryn Aroz-Rodriguez
Kathryn Aroz-Rodriguez

Typically when it's a murder-suicide isn't the "couple" together? Isn't that the point? And slashing your own throat? Really, that's how your going to choose to off yourself? Not buying it.

Shannon Tiare
Shannon Tiare

Who slashes their own throat for a suicide? Sounds fishy.

Vanny Uat
Vanny Uat

Tyler Sheridan Caitrin Badura

Lisa Fletcher
Lisa Fletcher

Is this the most murders in OC for any given year? sheesh

Nelson Mills
Nelson Mills

If you read CPC section 830 it gives Deputized Sheriffs statewide peace officer authority. They swear an oath to California, not a county.

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