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Neighbors said the Trevinos were polite but kept mostly to themselves, except for a summer bonfire they hosted at the home they moved into about a year and a half ago.

RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER • reneejones@startribune.com ,

Kira Trevino

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Feb. 26: Jeffrey Trevino arrested

  • Article by: Chao Xiong
  • Star Tribune
  • February 27, 2013 - 12:49 AM

 

With Kira Trevino still missing after five days, police arrested her husband Tuesday following a seven-hour search of the couple’s home.

“We located enough evidence that a crime had been committed in the house,” said Sgt. Paul Paulos, a police spokesman.

Jeffrey D. Trevino, 39, remained in the Ramsey County jail Tuesday night on suspicion of homicide. Authorities, meanwhile, continued to ask for help in finding his wife, who has been missing since failing to arrive for work Friday at the Mall of America. Police declined to say what exactly pointed suspicion at Jeffrey Trevino.

In their quiet Payne-Phalen neighborhood, Jeffrey and Kira Trevino were known as a young couple who said their polite “Hellos” but kept to themselves other than hosting summertime bonfires.

“I thought they were just a nice, friendly couple,” said their neighbor, Leo Moua. “They don’t bother nobody.”

But Kira Trevino, 30, didn’t show up for work Friday at the Bloomington mall, where she was a manager in a store called Delia’s. Her car was found abandoned in the mall’s parking lot Saturday, her purse and cellphone inside. About 6 p.m. Monday, a barrage of investigators from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension pulled up to the couple’s home in the 500 block of E. Iowa Avenue. Their search lasted until 1 a.m. Tuesday.

Several hours later, Jeffrey Trevino was in the Ramsey County jail. Police stopped short of saying whether they believe Kira is likely dead, instead saying that the case remains a “missing persons” case.

Trevino declined a request to be interviewed.

“I was scared, I was confused, I was baffled,” Moua said of Kira’s disappearance and the husband’s arrest. “It’s troubling.”

Others who know the couple also were confused by the disappearance and arrest.

“It just doesn’t add up,” said Matt Selle, who said the couple are godparents to his 3-year-old son.

Selle said he grew up next door to Trevino in Spring Park. “I’ve known him for about 10 years. He’s always been there for me. He was like a father to me, pretty much.”

When word broke that Kira Trevino was missing, Selle was scared for her. “I didn’t think something like this could happen to anyone I know,” he said. And when Jeffrey Trevino was arrested, Selle was shocked.

“I keep thinking there’s been a mistake,” Selle said. “I’ve known them forever. They always seemed very happy. Inseparable.”

They loved to run together and they loved to eat out, Selle said. “He worked construction in Wisconsin and was always happy to come home to his wife. There was a lot of love there. This doesn’t make sense.”

The couple moved into their home about a year and a half ago, Moua said, and had no children. Police said they had a roommate, who was cooperating in the investigation.

Records show that the only police calls to the home were on Friday for the missing persons report and Sunday for a welfare check. There are no filings in civil court that would indicate marital strife, and Jeffrey Trevino’s record only includes minor traffic violations.

Kira’s father, sister Keri Steger and co-worker Tara Hall declined to comment Tuesday once news of her husband’s arrest broke.

Hall, Kira’s best friend, has said that Kira’s car was found in a “very isolated corner” on the ground level of the west parking area. It’s unclear if Mall of America surveillance video may have captured any evidence.

Paulos said investigators are looking into what happened before, during and after Kira’s disappearance. Few details were available because of the continuing investigation, he said.

Kira’s disappearance came on the heels of a host of other cases involving young women across the metro. Brittany Clardy, 18, of St. Paul, was found dead last week in a car in a Columbia Heights impound lot. Her death remains unsolved, and few details have emerged.

Anna Hurd, 16, of North St. Paul, was found dead of stab wounds early Saturday in a Maplewood park. No arrests have been made, but acting Maplewood Police Chief Dave Kvam has said that police have a possible motive and that there is no risk to the public.

Kvam said Tuesday that authorities are waiting for DNA and toxicology tests from the BCA that could help bring some resolution to the case, possibly in a week or so.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about Kira Trevino’s whereabouts to call St. Paul police at 651-266-5650.

 

Staff writer Mary Lynn Smith contributed to this report. Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708

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