A man wanted in connection to four murders across Nevada and Arizona was found dead inside their car in a desert along with his girlfriend in what appears to be a murder-suicide.
Hunter Allen McGuire, 26, was tracked down by the authorities on Friday, October 21, but they later found him dead with a gunshot wound to the head. McGuire and his girlfriend, Samantha Branek, 32, were trying to evade the police ever since he was accused of fatally shooting Ann Sherman, a woman with whom he was temporarily living.
The duo was found dead in the desert by the police. The details of the discovery were shared by the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office in a lengthy post on Facebook. Police chased Branek’s vehicle near Lake Havasu at around 12.30 pm on Alamo Road, near Interstate 40, in Yucca, Arizona. A pursuit began and followed for roughly 35 miles before Branek’s car was disabled after going off the road. Three subjects were then seen running into the nearby trees and brush from the car by law enforcement officials.
Officers from the Lake Havasu City Police Department’s SWAT team approached the brush where two of the suspects had been seen hiding after four hours of air surveillance and negotiation attempts without response. Branek and McGuire were found lying next to each other deceased in the latter’s car by the officials in the bush. Police said a rifle was found laying on McGuire’s chest.
“McGuire and Branek each had a single gunshot wound to the head, McGuire’s being self-inflicted,” the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office wrote Saturday. They also added that it’s “unknown if McGuire shot Branek or if she had shot herself.” McGuire was wearing a wig when his body was found.
The Mohave County Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an autopsy on both Branek and McGuire to confirm the official causes of death.
What crimes did McGuire commit?
Sherman and McGuire allegedly got into an argument inside a home near the intersection of Jones Boulevard and Harmon Avenue, police in the Las Vegas area claimed. The fight broke out at around 11 pm on Monday, October 17. The man then reportedly pulled out his gun and shot the woman. McGuire fled the scene when the officers responded to the shooting at the home. His girlfriend was then caught on camera on October 19, selling evidence from Sherman’s murder at a pawn shop.
Officials believed that McGuire and his girlfriend were traveling in a silver Hyundai car, after the video of Branek pawning the evidence was found. Arrest warrants were issued for both of them. As the investigations progressed, law enforcement in Mohave County received a tip that McGuire was in Las Vegas with Sherman as he was wanted for other murders.
Police also linked him to a June 28 double homicide with the help of videos and surveillance footage and photos in Kingman, the city where he is originally from. Retta Atkins and Darren VanHouten were found shot and killed in the 9200 block of Dilligaf Road earlier this year.
Mohave County officials also found “evidence that was related to the murder of Retta Atkins and Darren VanHouten,” while searching the vehicle near where Branek and McGuire’s bodies were found Friday. The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the scene of a possible homicide in Golden Valley on the same day Branek was seen pawning evidence from Sherman’s murder. The call came in around 1.45 pm and officers located a man with a single gunshot wound to the head upon arrival. The victim, later identified as Martin Eric Nelson, 35, had succumbed to his injuries. His corpse was found behind a vehicle.
On Thursday, October 20, Branek and another woman, Brittany Conkling, 23, were spotted at a truck stop in Yucca. The two women were seen buying ‘a large amount of sandwiches and water’, said police and then they headed towards a remote desert area.
Police in Golden Valley executed a search warrant of the Golden Valley property after the discovery of Nelson’s body where McGuire and Branek were believed to have occupied. “Evidence was recovered that was related to the murder of Retta Atkins and Darren VanHouten in June 2022,” law enforcement said. Timothy Wayne Burt, 42, walked out from the remote desert area while a search warrant was being executed. He claimed he was present when Nelson had been shot and killed.
Burt told officials that he remained hidden in the desert for 12 hours. He alleged that he and Nelson were confronted and shot at by McGuire after they had come to the property around 2 am to pick up a stolen trailer. Although Burt initially claimed that he did not carry a firearm, he later accepted to having a gun.
He even told the officers initially that he did not a have a phone to call them but then again he changed his story and said he called his girlfriend to pick him up at the scene. He then tossed his gun. Burt is said to have changed his story ‘many times’ since his arrest. He has been booked into the Mohave County Adult Detention Facility for hindering prosecution.