A Florida man who had been carrying on a secret affair with his wife’s 21-year-old niece told police the relationship came to a violent end Friday morning, when he allegedly shot and killed her in a fit of jealousy.
Stephen Fraser Myers, 44, is facing a second-degree murder charge after police said he admitted killing his wife’s niece, Winnie Mendoza, following an argument about who she had been with the night before.
The pair had allegedly been having a secret sexual relationship for the last two years, WPLG reports.
Myers allegedly spotted Mendoza driving home Friday morning and confronted her. The two engaged in a verbal altercation before he shot her multiple times in the torso, according to WSVN.
First responders found Mendoza's body in the driveway of her home, but the 21-year-old was already dead.
After the shooting, Myers fled the scene and returned home to his 34-year-old wife, and he allegedly confessed that he had just killed her niece.
“It's really unfortunate that this individual resorted to violence," Miami-Dade Detective Alvaro Zabaleta told Local10.com.
Police located Myers, who had left his home, a short time later. According to police, the grocery store manager confessed to the shooting in a recorded conversation with law enforcement. Police have also recovered the gun they believe was used in the crime.
Mendoza’s family is now left grappling with the shocking loss of the 21-year-old, who had hoped to become a nurse. At the time of her death, she was working at a nearby Publix Super Market’s pharmacy.
“We are living a horrible nightmare,” Winnie's mother, Yessenia Mendoza, told Local10 in Spanish.
Those who knew Mendoza described her as sweet and dedicated to her family. Some have also questioned if Myers' claims of an affair are true.
“She was truly beautiful. She loved her family, and family was important to her,” one coworker told the local station in Spanish. “We just can’t believe what he is saying about the affair. There is more to this story. There has to be.”
Relatives say the family — which also has roots in the agricultural city of Chinandega, Nicaragua — has always been close-knit.
“We are a big family and we feel terrible,” her uncle Adrian Calderon told WPLG.
Myers and his wife Luisa Mendoza are the parents of two young sons, police said. Myers is currently being held without bond at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, and it is unclear if he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.
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