LEFT, An officer and a chaplain from the Citrus Heights Police confer outside the crime scene.
By Hudson Sangree and Loretta Kalb
Police say a woman shot in her home in Citrus Heights on Sunday was the victim of a murder-suicide.
The 28-year-old mother of three was found dead on a bed in a tan ranch-style home in the 7200 block of Pleasant View Drive. A man's body was on the floor nearby, Lt. Gary Hendricks said.
Both had gunshot wounds. A handgun lay next to one body, he said.
Out front, they found three children and an unidentified man waiting, officers said.
"Right now we're treating this as a homicide-suicide," Hendricks told reporters late Sunday afternoon. "It appears the man shot the woman and then killed himself."
By Sunday evening, neither police nor the Sacramento County Coroner's Office had released the identities of the dead man and woman. But friends said the woman was Melinda Mikita, whose children are ages 10, 5 and 4.
Family and friends gathered near the crime scene with law enforcement chaplains.
Heather Carr described herself as Mikita's best friend. She said Mikita was attending beauty school and planning to get married. "She's a very likable individual," Carr said.
She said she did not know the name of the dead man or his exact relationship to Mikita. "It was just somebody she knew," Carr said. "I don't know his name."
Scott Sillmann described himself as a close family friend and said he had heard from Mikita's relatives that her alleged killer was a man who had become "infatuated" with her but whom she'd rejected.
A silver Mercedes that police said was part of the investigation sat near the home where the bodies were found.
On her MySpace page, Mikita called herself a "Single mother of 3, living life to the fullest." She said her hometown was North Highlands, wrote that she graduated from San Juan High School in 2000, and listed her occupation as full-time student.
By Sunday afternoon, Mikita's friends were leaving memorial messages on the page.
"The family will always love and miss u," one person wrote. "You will always be remembered with love," wrote another. "Rest with god enjoy your peace fly like the angel you have been to us all."
Online court records for a woman named Melinda K. Mikita show she had a troubled past. She pleaded no contest in 2004 to driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license.
In 2002, she pleaded no contest to misdemeanor resisting an officer and was sentenced to six days in jail, according to the records.
In 2000, she was arrested on suspicion of felony robbery, court records show, and pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery. She received a 60-day sentence.
The neighborhood where the shooting occurred, just off Fair Oaks Boulevard, is wooded with ranch homes and bungalows. Friends said Mikita had been staying in one of the homes, a tan ranch house, with the home's tenant.
Yellow crime scene tape stretched along Fair Oaks Boulevard on Sunday, while investigators and coroner's officials worked inside the house.
Neighbors stopped by to ask the reason for the heavy police presence. Others said they believed they heard shots.
"It's really unnerving," said neighbor Jody Woelflen. "This is a very quiet neighborhood. Nothing happens."
Call The Bee's Loretta Kalb, (916) 321-1073.
KCRA: 2 dead in murder-suicide