Kira Trevino’s DNA is on a bloody pillow that was found along with a bloody sports bra, shirt and sponge in a plastic bag recovered near Keller Lake, according to court papers filed Friday in St. Paul.
Cadaver dogs earlier this week indicated the scent of a dead human body in the water, according to an amended criminal complaint filed against her estranged husband in Ramsey County District Court, contributing more definitive clues as to where Trevino’s body may be.
Trevino, 30, of St. Paul, was last seen alive on Feb. 21. She’s presumed dead, though her body hasn’t been recovered.
Jeffery D. Trevino, 39, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder after police discovered “copious” amounts of blood in the couple’s Payne-Phalen home and alleged attempts to cover his trail.
Much of the search for her body has centered on Keller Lake, near the intersection of Hwys. 61 and 36 in Maplewood.
A witness told police that in early morning hours on Friday, Feb. 22, as she was driving on Hwy 61 in Maplewood, next to Keller Lake, she saw two men on the frozen lake. They were struggling to carry something that, to the witness, appeared to be the size of a person but wrapped in something.
That location is 1.8 miles from the Trevinos’ rented house.
The information was passed to Kira Trevino’s family, which organized a search of the Keller Lake area.
“An identified witness who was part of the search found a plastic bag tied shut,” the complaint says. “Inside the bag was a bloody pillow, pillow case, sports bra, shirt and sponge. DNA analysis of the blood on the pillow matches the DNA profile of Kira Trevino.”
Dogs trained to detect the scent of dead bodies in water reacted positively to a hole in the lake ice.
“This may indicate a body in the lake,” the court papers say.
Authorities did not have any dive searches scheduled for the next day or two, said St. Paul Police spokesman Howie Padilla. He called the bag and its contents an “important piece of the puzzle” in finding Kira Trevino’s body.
“That is a major piece for us, and helps us, we believe. However, what it doesn’t do is bring Kira home, and that’s what we’re focused on,” Padilla said.
In response to questions about the witness account of two people on the ice, Padilla could not say whether authorities have identified a second person of interest.
Ramsey County Sheriff’s spokesman Randy Gustafson said the sheriff’s dive team is willing to search again. Friends and family members plan to comb the area this weekend.
Kira Trevino, who had told friends that she was leaving, had complained about repeated problems with her car, and of how paying for repairs meant she couldn’t afford to move out.
“One identified witness saw damage to her brake lines and radiator hose consistent with deliberate sabotage,” the complaint states.
The complaint says the slaying and investigation unfolded this way:
Jeffery Trevino called police Monday, Feb. 24, to report that his wife had left the previous Friday morning to run errands and never returned.
Later that day, her mother called police, telling of the couple’s problems and of her fear for Kira’s safety.
Mall video shows the couple leaving the mall, after they dined, at 9:20 p.m. on Feb. 21 — the last sign of her being alive.
On Monday, Feb. 25, mall security spotted Kira Trevino’s car in a back corner of a parking ramp. Police ordered the car towed, and the tow operator spotted blood around the trunk opening. Her trunk liner was found nearby; tests confirmed her blood was on it.
In the Trevino home, there was blood throughout the house, but also signs that someone had been cleaning extensively with bleach and washing towels. The Arkansas Razorbacks sweatshirt that Jeffery Trevino wore the previous Thursday, in the mall video, hung freshly laundered.
Kira Trevino’s blood was found in wheels of a carpet cleaner.
Investigators used surveillance video from several locations and a taxi’s GPS tracker to build a timeline.
Video shows Kira Trevino’s car arriving at gas pumps at the corner of Larpenteur Avenue and Interstate 35E, where her credit card was used at 2:13 a.m. on Feb. 22. A man pumped gas, but the image wasn’t clear.
The car drove westerly, toward freeway ramps. About six hours later, Jeffery Trevino pumped gas at the same station with his Honda CRV, using his bank card to buy gas and get cash inside. He was wearing the sweatshirt shown in the mall video.
Mall video also shows Kira Trevino’s car entering the parking lot at 9:45 a.m. that same Friday, and then a man throwing something from his car. It was the size and shape of a trunk liner.
Jeffery Trevino allegedly took a taxi home from the mall, and a GPS tracker showed it traveled to a block away from the Trevino home. The passenger paid in cash.
A neighbor’s panning surveillance camera recorded images of a man, in a sweatshirt that looked like the one Trevino was wearing at the mall, exiting the cab and walking up the Trevino driveway.
Staff writer Chao Xiong contributed to this story.