RED LAKE, Ariz. - A close friend of the victims in the double homicide discovered Tuesday morning said the community was so shocked and disturbed by the crime that people were taking matters into their own hands.
Bruce Willett, who was better known in the Red Lake Valley as “Cookie,” said Thursday that he and the victims, Nora, 64, and Michael Di Muria, 67, had been close friends for more than a decade.
“As far as I know, they had not one enemy in the world,” Willett said.
Willett couldn’t imagine why anyone would have wanted to hurt the Di Murias he knew. With tears in his eyes, he remembered they went above and beyond to help his own late mother.
“At the time my mom was 91 years old,” Willett said.
Cookie said his mother fell and broke her hip moving fire wood.
“She called Michael. He was there in a minute and a half. Oh, [he] rode all the way to Flagstaff in the ambulance with her,” Willett said, with tears in his eyes.
Thursday, detectives were looking for the victims’ four-door white Jeep Liberty with Arizona plates, 123VDL.
“This never happens in Red Lake Valley,” Willett said, adding his community was armed and ready in case anyone wanted to change that.
“If you want to hit Red Lake Valley, you better be prepared to get shot,” Willett said.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office scheduled a community meeting Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at the High Country Fire-Rescue station for anyone with questions about the double homicide.