Wanted for murders in two states, a wild west outlaw couple wound up at a dead end in the Arizona desert. When the high-speed police chase and four-hour standoff were over, both Samantha Branek and her boyfriend Hunter McGuire were lifeless. Police don’t think they shot either of them but aren’t sure about much, at this point.
Couple like Bonnie and Clyde
New York Post is reporting some fresh details about the couple wanted in connection with four homicides who were pronounced dead in a remote stretch of Arizona desert last week.
It was all over for 32-year-old Samantha Branek and her 26-year-old boyfriend Hunter McGuire on October 21, after a chase and extended standoff. Both were found with “single gunshot wounds to their heads.”
The Mohave County Sheriff’s Department hasn’t ruled out other possibilities but they have a prevailing theory on how the couple met their ultimate demise.
*Full name: Hunter Allen McGuire. https://t.co/Lj1gYQ0lbn
— LVMPD (@LVMPD) October 20, 2022
“McGuire appeared to have shot himself, though it is unclear if Branek’s wound was also self-inflicted.” He probably shot her first. They weren’t going out alive. It won’t be official until the medical examiner determines cause of death.
Over the past summer, the criminal couple led police back and forth on a two state manhunt. Police became involved on June 28, when called out to investigate the double-murder of Retta Atkins, 73, and her longtime boyfriend Darren VanHouten, 50, in Kingman, Arizona.
Atkins had a local reputation as the “Gold Lady,” because she owned a store in Golden Valley specializing in prospecting equipment. McGuire was linked via surveillance footage.
Hiding in Las Vegas
Following the murders, the couple headed for Las Vegas to lay low. They hid there successfully until October 17. Somehow, McGuire “was living with” another woman before he killed her.
Police chalked that up to “a dispute” but “later identified Branek selling the victim’s valuables at a pawn shop shortly after the shooting.” That means she must have remained in the picture somewhere.
As soon as the couple cashed in the loot, they split for the familiar scenes of Arizona and “quickly left more bloodshed in their wake.” On October 19 the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office got another homicide call in Golden Valley. This time, they identified 35-year-old Martin Eric Nelson, Jr., discovered “behind a car on the property.”
That’s when Timothy Wayne Burt, age 42 approached the deputies to inform them “he and Nelson arrived at the property early that morning to pick up a stolen trailer.” That’s when “they were ambushed by McGuire, who opened fire.” His story didn’t make sense so they arrested him on second-degree hindering prosecution. He had a few warrants anyway.
Two day’s later, an eagle eyed patrol officer “spotted Branek’s silver Hyundai Elantra in nearby Yucca.” The driver hit the gas. “When the driver sped off, police pursued the vehicle for 35 miles until it skidded off the road and Branek, McGuire, and another woman, Brittany Conkling, 23, ran into the desert.”
Conkling was smart enough to surrender immediately. She “admitted to knowing McGuire was wanted for murder when she aided the pair.” The couple was about to become a thruple. The “trio had stocked up on food and water and had plans to camp in the dense desert.“