Austin Palser had been friends with Shauna Haynes, a woman whom he called his ‘sister’, for 15 years. Wednesday Shauna's body was found stuffed into a suitcase in the 1300 block of 7th Avenue and A Street downtown.
Austin told NBC 7 this was a case of getting mixed up in the wrong crowd and being blinded by love.
He met the tiny brunette when they were in kindergarten. Austin said the two kept in touch until six months ago when she got involved with 32-year-old Joshua Matthew Palmer.
“His lifestyle, the partying, the drugs, the clubbing, she wasn’t into that,” Austin told NBC 7. “She just got drawn into the wrong crowd. She was 21. He was 33.”
Palmer was arrested by San Diego police Friday on suspicion of Shauna’s murder.
The 21-year-old Shauna should have had decades ahead of her.
She wrote on her Facebook page that she worked at the Old Spaghetti Factory in the Gaslamp Quarter.
A spokesperson for the Spaghetti Factory put out a statement saying ‘this is a sad and tragic event for our whole community.”
The restaurant is also near where Austin last saw Shauna.
“She had a sunken face,” Austin explained. “She looked depressed. She barely had the strength to say ‘hi’ back on her way to work. That was the last time I saw her, which was about two weeks ago.”