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Women's deaths investigated as murder-suicide

Bodies found lying side-by-side in cabin

The women were found dead in a cabin at the Gorda Springs Inn in the Big Sur region.
The women were found dead in a cabin at the Gorda Springs Inn in the Big Sur region.

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The mysterious deaths of two women at a California resort has Monterey County authorities puzzled. KSBW's Kerstin Lindquist reports (October 13)
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MONTEREY, California (CNN) -- The deaths of two women found lying side-by-side in a Big Sur cabin, with their hands tied and garbage bags around their heads, will be investigated as a murder-suicide case, officials said Monday.

Investigators said they found an envelope in the room containing letters to the parents of one of the women describing a suicide pact.

There were no signs of trauma to the bodies of Abigail Tapia, 27, or Jacqueline Toves, 26, said Cmdr. Fred Garcia of the Monterey County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators believe that one woman may have killed the other and then taken her own life. Both women were found Friday at the Gorda Springs Inn, with their hands bound behind their backs and garbage bags duct-taped over their heads.

According to Leonard Flores, the resort manager who found the bodies, there was also a Halloween mask placed over the bag on one woman's face and another found in the room of the cottage where the bodies were found.

The two women lived together in Long Beach, California, where television crews shot footage of a similar Halloween mask hanging on the door of their apartment.

Investigators said they are not making a final ruling on the case pending toxicology results, which may not be completed for several weeks.

The women checked into the inn October 3, owner Sherwin Miller said, renting a $220-a-night rustic cabin with a fireplace and porch, according to The Associated Press. The women had declined housekeeping service during their stay; staffers entered the room after they failed to check out.

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