SJ murder suspect turns himself in

July 31, 2008 9:49:45 PM PDT
Barry Anthony Monroe turned himself in to authorities. He is a suspect in the San Jose murder and house fire case that happened early on Thursday morning.

This morning, a woman was found stabbed on a San Jose street corner and another woman, 31-year-old Tamika Austin, was found dead in a burning house a block away.

It is a complicated case that keeps unraveling. The suspect turned himself in on Thursday afternoon near the Golden Gate Bridge.

This was the same person that San Jose police was interested in, and we walked across the bridge, turned himself in to a CHP officer and that's where it stands so far.

Detectives in San Jose went to San Francisco and they are questioning him.

It's a San Jose neighborhood that has already seen better times, but early on Thursday morning, it may have been the worst of them all.

"We heard a scream, dogs barking, glass breaking and that was it," said neighbor Susan Landavazo.

Landavazo still doesn't know what happened next door, in the house now garrisoned by police tape.

San Jose's 21st murder of the year happened at around 2:00 a.m. Police were tipped off when one of two women who live in the house ran crying through a nearby apartment complex. She had suffered stab wounds.

"Screaming, 'Help, Help', you know. And then my neighbor got up and my landlord got up too and was wondering who was screaming out," said neighbor Ben Perez.

When police arrived, they found three children outside the house and inside, they found the children's mother, Tamika Austin, dead and on fire.

"You know basically you're looking at one count of murder, one of attempted murder. You have one dead woman, the three children, and a woman with a stab wound. That is what this person is facing," said San Jose Police Spokesperson Enrique Garcia.

Authorities say Monroe and Austin had a dating relationship.

"They would barbecue a lot, and I guess they would argue once in a while, but no punches thrown or anything," said Landavazo.

Police say Austin's body was so badly burned that they still do not know how she died. The coroner will decide that.

"Well I feel fine but my daughter is traumatized because you could hear it. Our bedrooms are right next to theirs. You could tell something was going on," said Landavazo.

The victims were taken to Valley Medical Center. The three children were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation and the woman who was stabbed is expected to live.

The investigation and the case remain ongoing.


Load Comments