A 17-year-old runaway girl and 24-year-old man have been found dead in a California motel, thought to be the result of a tragic murder-suicide, or double suicide.
A housekeeper at the E-Z 8 Motel in Newark made the grisly discovery on Friday as Patricia Martin's body lay lifeless beside a male, believed to be her much older boyfriend, James Shanelec.
Police refused to confirm the names of either of the deceased but the girl's mother, Kathy Martin, has spoken out, claiming the female body to be that of her daughter.
She told the Pleasanton Weekly, the publication for which she works as an executive assistant, that Patricia went missing last Sunday.
The distraught mother had reported Patricia as a runaway to the police department, adding that she feared the teen may have fled home in the company of her 24-year-old boyfriend.
Posters and newspaper notices were spread around the local area but nothing was heard until just before midday on Friday when the two bodies were found.
Known among friends as Tricia, a Facebook page had been set up by family and friends as they strove to seek out the 17-year-old's whereabouts.
According to the Contra Costa Times the male's identity was confirmed by a coroner as a 24-year-old from Livermore, where Shanelec lived.
He is also known as James Cole, Patch.com reported, the name under which he has a Facebook page.
The couple were pronounced dead at the motel, believed to be the result of a murder-suicide or 'a tragic double suicide' a police statement said.
They both died of gunshot wounds to the head.
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