Man in custody in slaying of ex-Douglas resident |

Man in custody in slaying of ex-Douglas resident

Kurt Hildebrand
Robert Michael Owens Jr.

The man suspected of killing former Gardnerville resident Lacee Nicole Shupe, 22, has been taken into custody by Washoe County detectives.

Cold Springs resident Robert Michael Owens Jr., 41, is in a Washoe County Detention Facility in connection with the murder of Shupe and attempted murder of roommate Joshua Able, 39.

Owens was arrested Tuesday after he was released from the hospital, according to Washoe County Public Information Officer Bob Harmon.

Harmon said that Able also may have been released from the hospital.

According to the preliminary investigation, during the attack Able left the house and sought help from neighbors by knocking on doors.

Harmon said that when Able returned, he was locked out of the house.

Owens allegedly attacked Shupe and Able, causing significant injuries with a sharp object.

Shupe later succumbed to her injuries.

Owens allegedly injured himself with the object.

Several possible weapons found in the house include a razor, knives and a hatchet.

“I don’t have any more detail than that,” Harmon said.

Investigators also aren’t releasing information about any relationship between the three, besides that they are roommates.

The initial cause of Shupe’s death is believed to be sharp force trauma; however, a final determination is pending from the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The incident was discovered when Washoe Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of suspicious circumstances in the 17100 block of Crystal Canyon Court in Cold Springs at 5:30 a.m. July 1.

The Sheriff’s Office asks that anyone with information about these individuals or the incident contact the Washoe County Sheriff’s Detective Division at 775-328-3320 or Secret Witness at 775-322-4900.

Shupe was a 2009 graduate of Douglas High School, where she had been active in FFA and SkillsUSA.

Nearly 400 mourners packed Valley Christian Fellowship for her memorial service.