Couple accused of torturing, killing Air Force veteran

Stacie Mendoza and Jose Mendoza accused of killing of a Hanford man

UPDATE April 24, 2018: Hanford police have arrested a third person in connection with the killing of an Air Force veteran.

Police say 43-year-old April Striggles of Fresno was arrested Monday for accessory to murder.

Detectives say they believe Striggles helped Jose Mendoza and Stacie Mendoza who are accused of killing Kenneth Coyle.

Police say Striggles gave a detailed account to her involvement in trying to cover up the crime scene at Coyle's house.


Hanford, CA (FOX26) - Hanford Police released new details on Monday about the killing of an Air Force veteran.

"This is so odd I can’t even begin to explain,” said Hanford Police Captain Karl Anderson.

Anderson says 70-year-old Kenneth Coyle was tortured, beaten, and suffocated in his own home, before his body was dumped 60 miles away in a canal in Madera County.

Police say Coyle met one of his accused killers, Stacie Mendoza, at a restaurant.

She was a waitress, and he ate there often.

"None of us knows how to cook," said Lorraine Coyle, the victim's sister.

She describes her brother as a man who liked to care for those around him.

And, police say Mendoza took advantage of this, after befriending Kenneth Coyle over the course of six to eight months.

"She manipulated that relationship to gain his trust and defraud him of money,” Anderson says.

Police say Mendoza and her husband, Jose, went to Coyle's home in a mobile park sometime April 4th or 5th.

“They restrained him on a bed and beat him to gain access to his bank account information, passwords and other account information,” Anderson says.

Days later, police say the couple returned.

The two loaded Coyle's body into a moving truck, and took other belongings.

At one point, the couple picked up its three children, and drove to the Chowchilla Canal in Madera County.

Anderson says they burned Coyle's body-- and made their children watch.

The couple was hoping the burned remains would blend in with other belongings left at the site, to appear like a roadside dump.

The following week, police say Stacie Mendoza went to the mobile park's management, asking for the deed to Coyle's home.

She said he had been in an accident, and was in a care facility in Northern California.

Instead, management called police.

Police tracked down the two to a Denny's near Los Angeles International Airport.

Officers say the Mendoza's had Coyle's credit card-- and a plane ticket to El Salvador.

Officers say they confessed to the crime, and Stacie Mendoza led them to Coyle's remains.

Police are now waiting for autopsy results later this week.

Stacie and Jose Mendoza now face charges including murder, torture, burglary, robbery, felonious elder abuse, and felonious child abuse.

Watch a press conference here:

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