Update on murder/suicide tragedy in El Centro


EL CENTRO – On March 6th, 2017, just prior to noon, El Centro police officers responded to a possible shots fired call at a residence located on the 800 block of Palmview Avenue in the city of El Centro.  When the officers arrived on scene a male subject later identified as 48-year-old El Centro resident Stephaney Darby was located in the garage of the residence.  Darby was pronounced dead on scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  This case was treated as a suicide and investigated with the assistance of the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office coroner.

At approximately 1:47 p.m., a family member of Darby contacted the police department with a request for a welfare check at a residence on the 2000 block of Elm Avenue in the city of El Centro.  Officers responded to this residence and while searching the interior of the house, located three unresponsive victims.  Each was later pronounce deceased by paramedics on scene.  The decedents were later identified 45-year-old Angelica Cardiel, 24-year-old Deanna Zambrano, and a 5-year-old child.  All three were residents of the house in question were victims of gunshot wounds.

The investigation and information obtained from friends and family members has connected these two incidents as a murder/suicide.  The murders appeared to have been carried out by Darby the day prior, March 5th.  Darby and Cardiel resided together previously at the residence and shared a 5 year old child.

“These events are shocking and are difficult for friends and family of all involved.  We would ask that our community be both respectful and supportive of the family in this time of grief.  Our hearts and prayers go out to all those impacted by these traumatic events,” said an El Centro police spokesperson.