'She Loved Him'

Alpine murder victim's grandson arrested while returning to the US

By Monica Dean
|  Friday, May 22, 2009  |  Updated 10:59 AM PDT
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'She Loved Him'

Brandon Allen Hayes may be traveling with a companion, Jeffrey Reed, possibly in or near the Tijuana Border Region.

Two men suspected of killing an Alpine grandmother are under arrest; one of them is the victim's grandson.

Minister Tom Truscott describes 73-year-old Eunice Cothron as loving and devoted -- an active member of the Alpine Community Church. Her body was found Saturday night inside her Alpine mobile home.

"Nobody had even any idea that anything could happen to her like that," Truscott said. "They're just literally stunned in disbelief because she was such a unique and fine human being."

Homicide detectives had been looking for Cothron's grandson, Brandon Hayes and a friend of his, Jeffrey Reed. Investigators said they believed the two might have fled to Mexico. Both men were arrested Thursday night at the San Ysidro border crossing on their way back into the United States from Mexico.

Reed was the first to be detained as he re-entered the U.S.  He was questioned then arrested for murder. A few hours later, Cothron's grandson Brandon Hayes, was also spotted crossing the border.  He was also detained, questioned then arrested on one count of murder.

Sheriff's detectives said they believe robbery was at least part of the motive for the murder.

Grieving family members say Eunice was a wonderful woman with more than 20 grandchildren, not including great grandchildren and they're relieved the suspects are in custody. Truscott remembers Brandon coming to church with Eunice.

“She loved him the way she loved her entire family and wanted to do everything in her power to help him," he said. "It's hard to find words to adequately describe the gentleness, the just plain kindness of her as a human being," Truscott said.

A memorial service for Eunice Cothron will be held on Tuesday at 11a.m. at the Alpine Community Church.

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