Nogales woman dead; Police say husband is to blame

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Nogales woman dead; Police say husband is to blame

CREATED Mar 12, 2012 - UPDATED: Mar 13, 2012

Reporter: Jessica Chapin

NOGALES, Ariz. (KGUN9- TV) - Nogales police are investigating their first murder in more than a year.  According to police, 24-year-old Katie Lynn Lemar is dead and her husband is hospitalized after a struggle Sunday morning turned tragic.

Lt. Carlos Jimenez with the Nogales Police Department said they got a call from someone out of state who knew the couple, who said the suspect, 56-year-old Timothy Allen Lemar called her.

"He eventually told her that he killed his wife," said Jimenez, "She really didn't believe him at the time and he ended up sending her some proof."

Police tracked down the house but when they arrived, it was on fire.  Firefighters broke inside and found Katie Lemar dead and Timothy Lemar badly injured.  Jimenez says they suspect it was an attempted murder-suicide.

"Obviously the homicide occurred," he said, "and it seemed like the suspect was hoping to take his life having some self-inflicted wounds and setting the mattress on fire and staying in the room, probably hoping to die from the smoke inhalation."

Timothy Lemar remains in the hospital under close watch by staff and police, in a medically-induced coma.  Police plan to take him in if and when he is released.

According to Jimenez, both the lived in separate half-way houses.  They were getting help from The Living Center, an organization that assists people trying to recover from addiction.  Police did not find weapons or drugs on the scene.

While neither were well-known by the community, Jimenez says the event is still having an impact in a place where violent crimes like murder are few and far between.

"The last one we had was last year around February," said Jimenez, "It's a shock to the community since they don't happen that often."

Representatives with The Living Center declined to comment on the situation.  Police are still waiting for autopsy results to determine a specific cause of death.