Suspects re-arrested for Pinyon murders

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Robert Lars Pape Photo courtesy Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

Robert Lars Pape
Photo courtesy Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

More than two years after their original arrest, Robert Pape, 28, and Cristin Smith, 27, were re-arrested for the 2006 triple murders of Jon Hayward, Vicki Friedli and Becky Friedli in Pinyon Pines.

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin announced the arrests last Friday.

Three counts of murder, with a special circumstance allegation of committing multiple murders, were filed on Wednesday, June 8, against both men, according to the DA’s press release.

“Three people lost their lives to violence,” Hestrin said in the release. “They are not simply victims, but mother, father, sister, family and loved ones. The tremendous loss of three innocent people is what drove me, this office, the sheriff and all the investigators to continue to search for the truth.”

On the night of Sept. 17, 2006, Becky, 18, her mother Vicki, 53, and Vicki’s boyfriend Hayward, 55, were found dead at their Pinyon home. Becky’s body was found burning in a wheelbarrow outside the house. The other bodies were found inside the burning home.

Pape was Becky’s former boyfriend. The two men were arrested in March 2014 and charged with the three murders. Then on Oct. 6, 2014, nearly seven months later, the DA’s office dismissed all the charges against Pape and Smith.

Cristin Conrad Smith Photo courtesy Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

Cristin Conrad Smith
Photo courtesy Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

In a press release from October 2014, the DA’s Office stated, “Upon a closer review of the grand jury proceedings, the District Attorney’s Office has determined that legal issues arose during the proceedings against defendant Pape that make it appropriate to dismiss the case at this time.

“Although defendant Smith was held to answer after a preliminary hearing, the District Attorney’s Office has concluded that it would not be appropriate to continue the criminal proceedings solely against defendant Smith, so the charges against both men have been dismissed,” according to the release.

However, it added that the investigation would continue. And after taking office in January 2015, Hestrin said the office would continue to review the case. On Friday, he said, “The lengthy investigation led to the finding of new evidence, some of which was not known at the time of the first investigation, as well as evidence that has now been processed using technological advances unavailable previously.”

Pape was arrested Wednesday, June 8, in Cathedral City. Smith was arrested Friday, June 10, in Sacramento.

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