Victims of Ewing Double Homicide Identified

By: Rowena Li Email
By: Rowena Li Email

The Antelope County Attorney has identified the victims of the Dec. 8, 2012, double homicide as 25-year-old Victoria Lee and 30-year-old Gabino Vargas.

The suspect, 33-year-old Matthew Hinrichsen of Ewing, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of using a weapon to commit a felony, and one count of arson.

Authorities said it's the county's first murder in 20 years and possibly the first double homicide since the county began keeping records.

"Approximately 20 after midnight Saturday morning, Antelope Sheriff's office, Nebraska State Patrol, Holt County Sheriff's office, responded to a 911 call," said Antelope County Attorney Joseph Abler.

What they found was a rural Ewing trailer home engulfed in flames, and in it, the bodies of Lee and Vargas. The cause of the fire and the deaths is still under investigation, but Abler said, "I can safely say that it wasn't an accidental fire."

Many Ewing residents said they're shocked something like this happened in their tight-knit and normally safe neighborhood.

"I was like, in Ewing, what? I don't believe that," said resident Josh Lytle.

J.R. Clouse echoed Lytle's comments: "I couldn't believe it. I didn't believe it until I saw all the cop cars at the house."

Clouse knew both victims and worked with Vargas, who went by the name "Alex," at Fry Dairy, a local dairy farm.

"Weird, shocked. I don't really know how to explain it, just really still setting in that they're all the way gone," Clouse said.

He remembered the victims as nice and fun.

"Alex was a good kid, wouldn't hurt a fly. Him and Victoria loved to go dancing every weekend, they loved to dance," Clouse said.

The County Attorney said autopsies have been ordered to determine the cause of death. Hinrichsen is due to appear at the Antelope County Courthouse at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012.


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