Grim photos reveal bloody murder scene in ultra-rich town after sister who believed family blamed her for brother’s cancer death ‘snapped’ and killed his teenage daughter and family friend before her own suicide
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- WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
- Hannah Arya, 15, her aunt Sayeh Amini, 48, and family friend Mia Shin, 56, were all found dead by police on Monday
- The property is in one of America’s richest neighborhoods – Rancho Santa Fe, in San Diego County, California
- Shocking pictures from inside the crime scene – obtained by Daily Mail Online – show bloody footprints and puddles of blood
- Amini, 48, is the sister of wealthy real estate broker Michael Arya, who died of lung cancer in April and Amini became the trustee of his estate
- A lawyer for Amini’s husband says that Amini is believed to have killed the two women before taking her own life
- She had slumped into a paranoid, suicidal depression
- Friends assert there were fights over Arya’s money and what would happen to his $1.3million home
A grieving sister suffering from mental illness is believed to have killed her teenage niece and a family friend in a bloody murder-suicide after she ‘snapped’ during a fight over her dead brother’s inheritance, Daily Mail Online can reveal.
Hannah Arya, 15, her aunt Sayeh Amini, 48, and family friend Mia Shin, 56, were all found dead in a property in one of America’s richest neighborhoods Rancho Santa Fe, California on Monday.
Amini’s distraught husband James Moliere confirmed to Daily Mail Online that his wife had been implicated in the deaths.
The scene of the crime at the home of wealthy real estate broker Michael Arya, who died of lung cancer in April
Daily Mail Online has learned that the mother-of-three – devastated by her brother’s passing a few months earlier – had become ‘paranoid’ that people blamed her for his death and was admitted to hospital to be treated for suicidal thoughts TWICE in the days before the murders.
It is not yet known whether the victims inside the upmarket $1.3million home were shot or stabbed to death but shocking pictures from inside the grim crime scene – obtained exclusively by Daily Mail Online – show puddles of blood in the dining area where one of the bodies was found.
In one chilling image, bloody footprints can be seen on the wooden floor by the back door – perhaps left by the killer in the wake of a frenzied attack.
Although police have not yet officially named the victims or perpetrator, Carl H. Starrett II, a lawyer for Amini’s husband and a close family friend, confirmed that Amini was believed to have killed the two women before taking her own life.
He said that Amini, who grew up in Tehran, Iran, but was living in San Diego, had slumped into a paranoid, suicidal depression in the days before the deaths.
‘Sadly she was going through mental health challenges, she was exhibiting signs of paranoia, she was very distraught over her brother’s death,’ he said.
‘Twice in the week prior to this incident she had been taken to a local hospital for treatment for suicidal thoughts.’
Starrett, a bankruptcy lawyer out of San Diego, says Amini had been made executor of her brother Michael Arya’s estate following his death from lung cancer in April.
The estate was to be divided between Arya’s 15-year-old daughter Hannah – who is set to get 50% of the inheritance and his Russian girlfriend Marina Ryzhkova, two other family members and Amini who were all set to receive 12.5% each of Arya’s wealth.
Starrett insists Amini was happy with her allocation and claimed the murder-suicide was nothing to do with the will.
‘Her brother trusted her to be the financial manager of his estate for the benefit of his daughter,’ he said.
‘It’s not like Sayeh would have benefited from murdering anybody.
‘But she was somehow convinced that her brother’s friends were going to place the blame for his death on her and ruin her financially,’ he said.
Starrett says Arya had been battling cancer for three years and the arrangements for his will were made months in advance of his death.
But he claims Amini became ‘overwhelmed’ with the responsibility of organizing the funeral and settling her brother’s financial affairs.
He said: ‘Her brother’s death pushed Sayeh over the edge and the responsibility of being the trustee… she became overwhelmed, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
‘This combined with her paranoia and the conspiracy that people were out to get her. She must have snapped.’
Starrett added: ‘James is a wreck right now, I have known him for 35 years and have been a long time friend. In addition to the tragic deaths, he also has three sons who have lost a mom.’
Despite the lawyer’s claims that Amini was not motivated by the division of the will, a close family friend has told Daily Mail Online otherwise.
The friend, who asked not to be named, says money was the nub of a family rift which had caused bad blood between Amini, her niece and her brother’s girlfriend.
The friend said: ‘Absolutely there were hard feelings about how the will was split.
‘Even on the day of Michael’s funeral there was issues with the inheritance between his sister, the girlfriend and the daughter.
‘I think the aunt could have been angry enough to be driven to this. It could have been about the house.
‘I know that they were all sat down one time – Hannah, her aunt and Marina – and they had a fight about the house.
‘It was about who was going to stay there, who wasn’t going to stay there, that kind of stuff.
‘That was while Michael was alive but that stuff didn’t go away.
James Moliere is the husband of Sayeh Amini who is now dead in an apparent triple murder suicide
Then there was the issues with the funeral.
‘The house was definitely a reason for them to all fight and of course the inheritance.
‘The girlfriend was residing there – she was allowed to stay there for a year according to the will then she had to leave and she also took a percentage of the money.
‘She was away on vacation in Russia but she still lives at the house.
‘The aunt got a part of the will too but the house was not included.’
The friend confirmed that Amini was appointed the trustee of her brother’s will but had been acting ‘crazy’.
‘It’s like a puzzle – but if you look at it you can see the aunt going crazy, getting into a fight, maybe the daughter telling her ‘This is my house’.
‘I know that the aunt was very depressed, she was the caregiver to her mother and her disabled sister and she had three children of her own.
‘I don’t know if she was frustrated with life or something. She did have something off about her.
‘Hannah told me, when her father died and they were trying to make the funeral arrangements, that it was really difficult to do it because her aunt was so crazy she just couldn’t focus on it.
‘Hannah didn’t like her aunt and on Saturday night Mia told Hannah that her aunt was going through a lot.
‘But Hannah felt both Marina and her aunt were taking advantage of her father and trying to get money out of him.’
She added: ‘I guess only the people there will ever know what really happened and they’re all dead.’
The friend told how Hannah had flown into the San Diego area at the weekend with a friend and planned to stay until July 5.
The third victim Shin, a successful real estate agent from LA, was acting as a chaperone to Hannah while she was in town.
The friend added: ‘I spent Saturday with Hannah and I planned to go back on Monday to hang out with her – she was like a niece to me.
‘I changed my plan at the last minute because I didn’t feel too good.
‘I was supposed to go meet them and hang out with them but I didn’t make it.
‘If I had have gone I could have been one of the victims.’
The friend paid tribute to Hannah describing her as ‘a genius little girl’ who was ‘completely full of life’.
‘She was sad about her father’s death but she had all these goals in life,’ the friend said.
‘She wanted to go into politics, she wanted to marry early and have children.
‘Mia too was a wonderful person – she had nothing to do with anything. She was just stuck in the middle trying to help.
‘She was trying to protect Hannah as an aunt-type of figure.’
Detectives have said they are not looking for any other suspects in the case – indicating it was a murder-suicide.
Deputies were responding to a report of possible child abuse at the house in the 17100 block of Via de la Valle and made the grim discovery around noon on Monday
Autopsies were expected to be completed Thursday, with police today likely to officially name the victims and release further information.
Lt. Kenn Nelson of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department told Daily Mail Online that deputies attended the address after receiving a 911 call reporting possible child abuse by a friend of one of the deceased.
Once at the property in the 17100 block of Via de la Valle, Rancho Santa Fe, officers spotted the body of one of the women through a window and decided to enter, finding the other two bodies in separate rooms.
He added that it was ‘unclear how the three died’ but said they had each suffered ‘obvious trauma’.
Friends and family paid tribute to Hannah, a student at top boarding school Verde Valley School in Sedona, Arizona, online calling her ‘beautiful’ and ‘full of life’.
Hannah had left the boarding school half way through the academic year to spend time with her dying father.
The pair appeared to be close and just last week, she posted a picture of herself with her dad on Instagram with the caption: ‘Happy Father’s Day! I miss you more and more every day.’
Tragic Hannah’s stepfather Eric Wagner told how he and his wife – the teen’s mother Susan Wagner and their daughters Dakota and Danika were struggling to deal with their loss.
In an emotional post on Facebook on Thursday morning, Wagner, from Sisters, Oregon, said: ‘Hard to describe the pain and suffering we (Susan, Dakota, Danika and I) are enduring at the loss of our sweet, sweet Hannah. Taken way too early at age 15, our grief and anguish have no words.
‘As I sat on the couch this morning after waking up at 5am, asking God why He would allow such a thing, a peace started to come over me. A feeling I have not yet experienced in the slightest since getting the dreadful news on Monday night of her horrific death.
But yet there I was, feeling as though God was telling me that everything was going to be okay, that Hannah was with Him, and that, most importantly, she would no longer have to suffer in this world we live in.
‘His ways are not our ways, but I am learning He is a good God regardless of anything that comes into our lives which would make us believe otherwise. He always loves us, and always has the best plans for our lives. Always.
‘And so as Susan and I continue to mourn the loss of Hannah, and go through the long process of grieving which will have so many more moments of pure anguish and despair, I will hold onto the hope of Christ and in the revelation of His words to me this morning.’
The bodies of all three victims were found at the Rancho Santa Fe property, which was bought by Arya, 58, in 2014 and valued at $1.3 million, according to property records.
Arya had been living there with his Russian girlfriend who was caring for him as his condition declined.
The home is now owned by the Michael Arya Revocable Living Trust.
Rancho Santa Fe is about 25 miles north of San Diego and is one of the wealthiest areas in the United States.
It’s located four miles inland from the Pacific Ocean and is made up of rolling hills with luxury estates and large ranches.
Known locally as The Ranch, many famous and wealthy people have lived there, including Howard Hughes and Bing Crosby.
More recent property owners in the area include Bill Gates who bought a 228-acre farm from Jenny Craig for $18m in 2014, and singer Jewel.
The median household income in the community is one of the highest in America.
The area was number 42 in Forbes’ annual list of most expensive ZIP codes in November 2015, with a median home price of $3.2 million.