Murder Call Was Costly Hoax: Cops

Police think the caller may have used a phone app that made it appear the call came from the home

A report to police from a man claiming to have killed his wife and threatening suicide turned out to be a hoax after the alleged victim walked up to an officer and asked him what was happening, according to police.

Homes were evacuated on Garnet Peak Road in Eastlake just after 3 p.m. and Arroyo Vista Elementary School was put on lockdown after a man called police to report a homicide.

“This call originally came in as a call from a male inside one of the condominiums. He said that he had killed his wife,” said Capt. Gary Wedge.

The woman who the caller claimed he had shot and killed, walked up to an officer to ask what was happening, police said.

The man originally identified as the person making the call was on a military base and also knew nothing about the incident, police said.

“The person who initially called in, through the conversation he had with the negotiator, identified himself as an individual, I won’t mention his name, but we have since located that individual and we are talking to that individual. He is fine as well,” Capt. Wedge.

Police also say the couple is not married.

“My understanding is she is his fiancée. There’s nothing at all to lead us to believe either he or her are involved or aware that this happened, at all,” said Capt. Wedge.

The man who made the call was threatening to commit suicide, according to investigators.

“One of our negotiators spoke with him for a few minutes on the phone. He was distraught,” said Capt. Wedge.

Officers moved into the condominium around 6 p.m. but found no one inside. They lifted the evacuation order.

Arroyo Vista Elementary School was put on lockdown for a short time, but the lockdown was later lifted and parents were able to pick up their children.

Police think they have identified the caller and say he may have used a phone app called "spoofing" that made it appear the call came from the home.

That caller could be facing serious charges.

“There are certainly criminal charges, filing a false report of an emergency. There are considerable civil penalties as well. As you might imagine, this is a very costly operation,” said Capt. Wedge.

Investigators questioned several people including the couple and their room mate, but so far no arrests have been made.

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