Coronado Deaths Remain a Mystery

Navy pilot David Reis, 25, and his sister, Karen Reis, 24 among the dead

By Michelle Wayland, Paul Krueger, Gene Cubbison and Mari Payton
|  Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012  |  Updated 3:54 PM PDT
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Mari Payton talked exclusively with one of the victim's co-workers.

Mari Payton talked exclusively with one of the victim's co-workers.

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Family Mourns Coronado Murder Victims

Two of the victims were 25-year-old active duty Navy personnel, according to the Medical Examiner's Office. Base officials say they were naval pilots that trained at MCAS Miramar.

Four Dead at Coronado Crime Scene

SWAT team called out early on New Years Day.
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The yellow crime tape is gone from a Coronado condo where four bodies were found shot to death on New Year’s Day. But the questions remain about what happened that night.

Investigators have released little information about the deaths of four people found inside a three-unit building at 1020 Park Place.

Of the four people found dead, police released the identities of two: Navy pilot David Reis, 25, and his sister, Karen Reis, 24. 

A family member of the brother and sister said even their family has no idea what's going on in the investigation. The only information they know, they learned from the media.

David and Karen moved to San Diego for different reasons, where friends say they both strived for excellence.

David trained as a pilot at MCAS Miramar. His grandfather said he always loved to fly from an early age. His room in his parents home is still covered in posters of jets and planes.

He lived with two other pilots in Coronado. One of whom was also killed on New Year’s Day.

Friends say Karen Reis excelled on and off the volleyball court, first as a varsity player at UCSD and more recently as a coach for local club teams.

“Everybody who met Karen and spent any time with her, absolutely loved her," said former employer Paul Crowe.

Most recently she worked with 10 to 12 year olds at the Genuine Volleyball Club in Carlsbad.
Karen had studied neuroscience at UCSD, had been Rotary Scholar and excelled in academics in high school. She also worked at Trader Joes in La Jolla to supplement the money she made coaching volleyball. Her co-worker says her sudden death is an unbelievable tragedy.

“I just feel so devastated that this happened,” said Barbara Nealy, who worked with Karen for nearly three years.  “She was a hard worker, did everything perfect and she was such a nice girl.”

Friends say Karen touched many lives, especially the young girls she coached in the sport she loved.

“She pretty much embodied what I wanted my girls to be around, which was someone strong in their faith and honest, caring and gentle,” said Crowe.

In the Central Valley, the Reis family asked for their privacy while friends dropped off flowers and notes of support on Monday. A memorial in the shape of a plane was placed in the family's front yard.

Karen and David's bodies are being returned to Bakersfield for burial.

“I can’t believe something like that would happen to that family,” said neighbor Thelma Hale.

“What can you say? You lose two children, that’s not supposed to happen,” said neighbor Beverly Peck.

Neighbors say David Reis, his 25-year-old roommate, who was also a Navy pilot, and Karen Reis had been celebrating downtown for New Year's Eve before the shootings took place. They say they brought another man back with them.

The 31-year-old man from Chula Vista was also found dead in the home. It’s unclear how he knew the group. His identity has not been released by the Medical Examiner’s Office.

A motive has yet to be revealed, but deputies did offer one detail about the case on Sunday.
"It's still early in the investigation, but there are no outstanding suspects," said Lt. Larry Nesbit.

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