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Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 3:35 am | Fair 51º


Identities Released in Apparent Santa Ynez Murder-Suicide

Man, wife found slain inside house

A Santa Ynez couple was found dead in their Manzana Street home Friday afternoon, in an apparent murder-suicide.

On Friday morning, neighbors reported hearing an altercation from inside the house in the 3400 block of Manzana, followed by six or seven gunshots. One neighbor said a woman’s scream was heard prior to the gunfire, which occurred about 10:45 a.m. Callers told 9-1-1 operators that a man was threatening to kill his wife.

Believing the gunman to be barricaded inside the house, Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies closed off streets and evacuated nearby homes in the quiet cul-de-sac two blocks from Santa Ynez Elementary School. Deputies repeatedly tried to make contact with anyone inside the house but were unsuccessful.

The sheriff’s SWAT team was dispatched to the scene and entered the house at 1:10 p.m. after a SWAT team spotter saw a man lying on the floor, apparently dead. Inside, deputies found the bodies of Guy Sydney Erway Jr., 49, and his wife, Ruth Jochum Erway, 42. Sheriff’s spokesman Drew Sugars said detectives believe Erway shot his wife before turning the gun on himself but the investigation is ongoing. The Coroner’s Office is expected to perform autopsies this week.

Erway owns The Pool Guy, a Santa Ynez Valley-based pool maintenance service.

Noozhawk staff writer Ben Preston can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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