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Better Days: Upon seeing the photo of Heidi Hubrecht above, her cousin said in an email to The Independent: “She is very happy there. Her father bought her that bike so she would have something smaller on their rides together. She got to ride that bike one time, just a week before what happened.”

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Better Days: Upon seeing the photo of Heidi Hubrecht above, her cousin said in an email to The Independent: “She is very happy there. Her father bought her that bike so she would have something smaller on their rides together. She got to ride that bike one time, just a week before what happened.”


Murder-Suicide Identities and Information

Luis DeDios, 23, Recently Threatened to Kill Himself; Friend Mourns Death of Heidi Hubrecht, 23


Tuesday, April 17, 2012
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Heidi Hubrecht knew her ex-boyfriend could be unbalanced and unpredictable, prone to mood swings and depression. When Luis DeDios threatened to kill himself in late March, Hubrecht completely broke contact with him after they had dated for nearly a year and a half. But she was scared about how he would take it.

“Her biggest fear was that [DeDios] would just show up somewhere,” said one of Hubrecht’s close friends, explaining Hubrecht recently changed her email address, cell phone number, and door locks, and bought a Taser. She was thinking about filing a restraining order against DeDios, but hadn’t yet.

Early Friday morning at about 2:30 a.m., Santa Barbara Sheriff’s deputies discovered the bodies of Hubrecht and DeDios on the balcony of a Goleta apartment building. Though the investigation is ongoing, authorities say DeDios somehow gained entrance to Hubrecht’s unit at 198 Camino De Vida and waited for her, armed with a hunting knife.

When Hubrecht and her roommate arrived home, DeDios attacked both women, injuring the roommate and mortally wounding his ex-girlfriend. He then turned the knife on himself, stabbing numerous times. The roommate, 21, survived her wounds, but Hubrecht and DeDios died at the scene. They were both 23 years old.

Multiple 9-1-1 calls were made as the horrific scene unfolded, including one from the injured roommate. A second roommate was in the apartment when the attack took place, but she was asleep in her room and didn’t witnesses the incident.

Hubrecht, from Canyon Lake, which is north of Temecula, recently started teaching at secondary language school EF Santa Barbara and was a skater on the Brawlin’ Betties roller derby team. Her friend, who wished to remain anonymous, called her “a very patient, giving person.” DeDios was born and raised in Santa Barbara and was living with his grandparents in Goleta, Hubrecht’s friend said. He enjoyed playing guitar and often kept to himself. Recently, the friend said, DeDios was fired from his job at a pet store for insubordination. His grandparents couldn’t be reached for comment.

According to Hubrecht’s friend — the two women went to UCSB together, meeting at freshman orientation and remaining close through school and after graduation — DeDios threatened suicide on March 27. He told Hubrecht he was going to swallow an overdose of the prescription pills he took for anxiety, then drown himself in the ocean. DeDios, said Hubrecht’s friend, didn’t abuse drugs and only occasionally drank on the weekends.

Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Drew Sugars confirmed that a worried Hubrecht called his office on March 27 and that deputies were dispatched to Santa Claus Beach where they found DeDios. He was transported to Cottage Hospital and placed on suicide watch, but was later released. It was his first contact with the Sheriff’s Department.

Shortly thereafter, DeDios began sending Hubrecht a number of emails, again threatening to kill himself and blaming her for his unhappiness. Hubrecht confided in one of her friends via Facebook after the incident, and a selection of her messages were forwarded to The Santa Barbara Independent. They are published here exactly as they were written:

— hes sending me emails saying stuff like he’s definitely going to do it if i dont help him and “how sad are you going to feel when i actually go through with this

— it just sucks that he tries to put it on me, fully saying it will be my fault when it happens

— they put him there but apparently he easily convinced the doctors he wouldnt do it again! and then right after he got out he emailed me that no doubt he will be doing it the next chance he gets!

— im so pissed at the system right now

— i asked the police if there was anything they can do and they just said no, its up to the docs so if he convinced them hes ok then they cant send him back unless he actually makes a full on attempt again

— i know im like he already had an attempt that they barely saved him from and he is making more threats, what else do you need?!?!

Calls to Cottage Hospital for comment were not immediately returned, and Ann Detrick, director of the county’s Department of Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services, said she wasn’t aware of DeDios’s March 27 suicide threat; she wouldn’t be able to comment even if she were privy to his case because of privacy considerations, she said.

Detrick explained that when a suicidal person is brought to Cottage Hospital, a mental health worker with the county’s Crisis and Recovery Emergency Services is dispatched to assess the severity of the case. Depending on the person’s state of mind, the patient may be monitored there for a finite period of time, or the patient may be referred to the county’s Psychiatric Health Facility for longer term treatment.

It’s not clear at the moment where DeDios was held or for how long, but Hubrecht’s friend claimed he was soon released from care after “manipulating” doctors into believing he wasn’t a risk to himself or others.

The Sheriff’s coroner’s bureau, said Sugars, will examine the bodies on Tuesday. A final coroner’s report is not expected for several weeks pending the results of toxicology tests.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (273-8255). The number is toll-free and services are available 24/7.

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

Another case of Emotionally disturbed person falls through the cracks and kill another person after the system fails yet again...

dou4now (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 7:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

before the predictable shifting of responsibility occurs- lets get all the facts. One thing we know for sure---this is a TRAGEDY for this bright young woman who had her future ahead of her. I would like to know more about the comment that she asked the police what more she could do. Why didn't they recommend that she get a restraining order?? Or maybe they did.

whosecityisthis2012 (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 9:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

So sad. It sounds like there were multiple missed opportunities to help DeDios. For something like this to happen there must be multiple breakdowns at the level of the individual, family, community and social welfare system.

Kingprawn (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 9:47 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I work at EF and knew Heidi personally. I did not know her very well, but she seemed like a very sweet person and no one deserves something like this. I want to say of all the news stories I've seen about this, this is the first one that deals with the subject as a very human subject, instead of a quick, badly written, and emotionless blurb. That being said, this one was also very difficult to read because it contained details I didn't know, even after speaking to some people who were very close to her.

I want to add something about the system here in Santa Barbara though. I have been very close to someone who has been treated in the system, and SB Cottage does a very excellent job in my opinion. However, mental health is a VERY difficult issue, and they cannnot treat everyone perfectly, especially when the field is still growing and money has limits. Also, they cannot treat someone if the person doesn't let them in and/or lies to them. Perhaps there are some rules or laws that should be changed when it comes to suicidal patients, but I truly believe everyone is doing the best they can at SB Cottage and in the mental health treatment "system."

Lastly, this is such a sad, tragic situation, and it has hit far too close to home for those of us who work at EF. I hope people in the community can learn from this, and that we can properly mourn what happened and celebrate the beautiful life that was lost in Heidi.

metroid (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 9:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

the "missed opportunities" were those that might have helped Heidi- the victim. Such as encouraging her to seek a restraining order. Bottom line is- we can do Coulda-Woulda-Shoulda all day- but what it comes down to is rage and the choice to commit an act of murder by someone who could not or would not accept "rejection"

whosecityisthis2012 (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 10:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@Whosecity-

You're absolutely correct that Ms. Hubrecht should have been encouraged by friends, family and civil servants to file a restraining order. The community is tested each time something like this happens.There were undoubtedly missed opportunities by those who loved Ms. Hubrecht and those sworn to keep the peace to protect her from a mentally ill person who had threatened her life.

It's clear to anyone who reads the news with any regularity that these breakdowns in "the system" occur all too frequently and unfortunately two young people died. Now we will never know of the great things that Ms. Hubrecht and Mr. DeDios could have each accomplished.

Kingprawn (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 12:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

In the end, the Ms. Hubrecht is dead because of the choice her murderer made to make a conscious decision to enter her home, lay in wait, and brutally, brutally stab her and take her life away. Tragic.

whosecityisthis2012 (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 1:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If someone is so hellbent on seeking revenge, what good was a restraining order going to do? I think her pleas should have been taken more seriously, and he should have been kept off the streets.

holly_k (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 1:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@whosecity-

You seem to be focused on the "what" and the "how" as it pertains to the "what" and the "who". I believe that there is more to be learned from the "why".

The question I always ask after something as heartbreaking as this happens is, "How can we, as a community, stop this from happening again?" Based on your comments it seems as though you believe that there is nothing we can do as a community to stop murder; that it's completely out of our control; one person makes a decision to kill another and that's that. Is that what you believe? If murder was always the inevitable outcome than should DeDios have been incarcerated for life pre-emptively for having murderous thoughts? If so, Tom Cruise should probably be the arresting officer...

Kingprawn (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 1:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Edit-"Tom Cruise should have been the arresting officer".

Also, @holly_k also seems to believe that murder was inevitable.

The future has not been written.

Kingprawn (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 2:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm saying that he should have been kept in suicide watch, until he was more mentally stable and the initial pain of a break-up had worn off (however long that may have been). He clearly planned all of this out. I don't know if there was much anyone could've done... except maybe try to stop him (grandparents? police?).

holly_k (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 2:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

LOL at @kingprawn's Minority Report reference. So you're saying that a restraining order would have helped prevent this from happening? Clearly he wasn't planning on facing any legal consequences since he turned the knife on himself right after.

timeclocks (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 2:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I wonder what the True Believers who think gun control is the answer would think about this?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 3:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I agree; I don't think a person who is mentally ailing enough to be able to do something of this magnitude is going to be stopped by a restraining order. Had he been kept under suicide watch longer, or been given a thorough psychological evaluation, maybe the outcome would have been different. Is it possible someone sane could do what he did?

imissgoleta (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 4:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This is such a tragedy my heart and prayers go out to her family. I was once in an abusive relationship which I hid from my parents and friends but I hope anyone that's in one knows that they can get help. May this beautiful soul rest in peace.

Sbluv85 (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 8:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This is soooo sad. How many signs need to show up before action is taken? It always seems that a number of signs show up before people snap, yet they are missed by cops, the county, and DeDios family/friends? I don't thing putting someone on suicide watch and then just saying "OK, you are free to go now" is a good method.

There are cases where a restraining order can be abused. This was definitely NOT one of them. While it may have not been a cure all for the situation, it definitely would have put DeDios and his problems higher up on the radar.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
April 18, 2012 at 10:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Please contact your County Supervisors and tell them that we NEED better mental health services.

This is too tragic for words. She obviously cared for him a great deal.

Please contact your County Supervisors and tell them that we NEED better mental health services.

Schifter (anonymous profile)
April 18, 2012 at 11:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh please. "Call your county supervisors"....how to exploit a horrible tragedy. Please let the body get cold first or at least wait to hear all the facts of this. The guy WAS in mental health. Were you there at his evaluation?

whosecityisthis2012 (anonymous profile)
April 18, 2012 at 11:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@whosecity-

How is @Schifter exploiting anybody's cold body? Use of the word exploitation suggests that @Schifter would personally stand to gain something from people calling the County.

All members of the community stand to gain a sense of safety and well being if the mental health system is improved.

Kingprawn (anonymous profile)
April 18, 2012 at 1:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't see the exploit. If you look in the headlines, it seems the county mental health services was on the fiscal chopping block recently. There have been lots of bad events lately where mental health has slipped thru the cracks. Look at all the insanity defense attempts lately. While you can't just call up the cops and say, "hey I think so and so is effen crazy!" it seems there is no follow up to some of the warning signs, and that perhaps more money in the mental health department would help.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
April 18, 2012 at 1:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I knew her well, and I would be saddened if we as a community didn't learn something major from this tragedy. Nobody should have to lose a daughter or a close friend like this. It feels so senseless. I don't know what needs to happen for women's fears for their safety to be taken seriously. She deserved better.

imissgoleta (anonymous profile)
April 18, 2012 at 3:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Prayers got out to the family and all associated with this series of events. We all experience ups and downs in life. I had considered killing myself at age 22. For 99% of us it is a passing thought which is part of dealing with society and pressures coming for multiple sources. Very difficult to cover all bases and ensure the safety of everyone.

hope11 (anonymous profile)
April 19, 2012 at 2:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"hes sending me emails saying stuff like he’s definitely going to do it if i dont help him and “how sad are you going to feel when i actually go through with this"

I wonder, to what she was referring to, regarding "if i don't help him"?--to aid in his death?

equus_posteriori (anonymous profile)
April 19, 2012 at 2:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It sounds sick and twisted, but I think he believed that she was the only one who could stop him from killing himself.

holly_k (anonymous profile)
April 19, 2012 at 3:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This is sad on so many levels. The 1st responding officers I know are traumatized by this scene, the housemate who was in her room is traumatized, more than just the physical victims to this senseless act.
The mental health system is not the blame, it is the PROTOCOL within that system.
This guy should've been Baker Acted simply based on the messages he sent the victim. It is sad, so much I want to say, but just too sad -henry

hank (anonymous profile)
April 23, 2012 at 5:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"The mental health system is not the blame, it is the PROTOCOL within that system." @Hank

Doublespeak.

Kingprawn (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2012 at 12:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

For those of you interested, the Brawlin Betties (Heidi's roller derby team) will be holding a public vigil tonight (Thursday 4/26) at 530PM at Shoreline park for Heidi's memory.

MEMSgirl (anonymous profile)
April 26, 2012 at 3:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

As a friend of Heidi's, hearing the term "let the body get cold," feels a lot more exploitive than someone suggesting a call to county supervisors.

bythesea (anonymous profile)
April 27, 2012 at 1:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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