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Woman Found Dead in Aliso Viejo Was Victim of a Murder-Suicide, Deputies Say

Investigators believe Brigitte Julie Shaw, 49, was killed by her live-in boyfriend Philip Alexander Smyth, 50, whose body was found this weekend near Hesperia.

Investigators have determined the dead woman found Monday in an Aliso Viejo apartment was the victim of a murder-suicide. Patch file photo.
Investigators have determined the dead woman found Monday in an Aliso Viejo apartment was the victim of a murder-suicide. Patch file photo.

Investigators have determined the woman found dead in an Aliso Viejo apartment Monday is the victim of a murder-suicide, officials announced today.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies discovered Brigitte Julie Shaw, 49, deceased inside her residence in St. Moritz Apartments in the 23400 block of Summerfield around 6 p.m. Monday while trying to serve a search warrant.

“Orange County Sheriff’s homicide investigators worked collaboratively with San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department investigators, as it was determined there may be a connection between Shaw’s death and a death investigation in their jurisdiction,” says a press statement from OCSD.

On Sunday, July 6, 2014, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s investigators initiated a death investigation in an unincorporated area near Hesperia. Philip Alexander Smyth, 50, Aliso Viejo, was discovered deceased as a result of self-inflicted stab wounds. Smyth’s death was ruled a suicide.

On Monday, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s investigators connected a unit at the St. Moritz Apartments with Smyth. When deputies found Shaw, they determined she had been deceased for several days.

The manner and cause of her death is pending toxicology results, officials said.

Based on the preliminary investigation and information collected at both scenes, it appears Smyth and Shaw had a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship and lived together at the Summerfield address. Evidence gathered from Orange and San Bernardino counties has prompted investigators to conclude the two deaths are the result of a murder-suicide, with Smyth being the suspect, a press release says.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Unit at (714) 647-7055.  Anonymous tips may also be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS (855-847-6227) or at occrimestoppers.org.

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