Two people — Guy Sydney Erway Jr., 49, and Ruth Jochum Erway, 42 — were discovered dead in their Santa Ynez home on Friday afternoon. Earlier in the day, nearby residents reported hearing a loud argument inside the married couple’s residence followed shortly after by gunshots. The exact circumstances surrounding the incident are still under investigation.
According to Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Drew Sugars, dispatchers received a report at 11 a.m. of a verbal argument within the Erway’s house located at 3440 Manzana Street. Not long after that, dispatchers started receiving calls that gunfire was also heard.
Responding deputies, said Sugars in a press release, attempted to make contact with the Erways but were unable to. They soon set up a perimeter around the home — which is located near the end of a cul-de-sac — and closed off area streets before calling in the Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team (SET). Nearby residences were also evacuated.
Repeated attempts to make contact with anyone inside were unsuccessful, continued Sugars, and SET members eventually entered the house at around 1:15 p.m. where they discovered the deceased couple.
The bodies were removed by the Sheriff’s Coroner’s Bureau which is working to determine cause of death, and Sheriff’s detectives, said Sugars, are looking into the incident.
Guy Erway is the owner of The Pool Guy, a Santa Ynez-based pool maintenance company.
[UPDATE, June 28]: Sugars reported today that although the case is still open, detectives said it appears Guy Erway shot his wife, Ruth Erway, before turning the gun on himself. The Sheriff’s Coroner’s Bureau is expected to perform autopsies on both bodies this week.