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Authorities ID pair who died in apparent murder-suicide in Las Vegas

Updated August 17, 2018 - 8:15 pm

Authorities have identified a man and woman who died in an apparent murder-suicide Thursday.

Claudia Cordero-Garcia, 20, and her boyfriend, 25-year-old Diosdan Benitez-Cruz, were found dead in the southwest Las Vegas Valley on Thursday morning, two days after Cordero-Garcia told her family she intended to leave her boyfriend, the Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement.

Maintenance workers found the bodies of the pair inside a unit at Cantera At Coronado Ranch Apartments, 7600 S. Rainbow Blvd., around 11:30 a.m., police said.

Evidence indicated that Benitez-Cruz shot Cordero-Garcia before killing himself, police said. A handgun was found next to his body, they said.

A friend of Benitez-Cruz’s, Jennifer Rodriguez of Las Vegas said she and Benitez-Cruz’s family were shocked to hear the news.

“I don’t understand why this happened,” she said Thursday night.

Rodriguez said she had known Benitez-Cruz since they were childhood friends in Cuba. She said he recently had told her that he and his girlfriend moved to Las Vegas from Miami.

On Friday the Clark County coroner’s office identified Cordero-Garcia, and Metro identified Benitez-Cruz.

The coroner’s office hadn’t released the cause and manner of death for Cordero-Garcia and Benitez-Cruz as of Friday morning.

Cordero-Garcia’s family asked police to check on her Wednesday after not hearing from her since Tuesday when she told a family member that she wanted to leave her boyfriend. Police responded but found nothing unusual and could not find the couple, homicide Lt. Ray Spencer said.

The family filed a missing persons report for Cordero-Garcia on Wednesday night.

Neighbors did not report anything unusual, and Metro had no prior history of domestic violence involving the couple, who moved to Las Vegas in February, Spencer said.

“The most dangerous part in any domestic violence situation is when the victim goes to leave,” Spencer said.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter. Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.

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