2 dead in Orange Park murder-suicide

Kayla Marie Beynon, Zachary Robert Johns were both 23 years old

Published On: Jan 30 2013 01:19:41 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 04 2013 06:55:27 AM EST
ORANGE PARK, Fla. -

The Clay County Sheriff's Office says deputies are investigating a murder-suicide at the Cottages at Oakleaf in Orange Park.

Two bodies were found in a condominium Wednesday. Investigators said Zachary Robert Johns and Kayla Marie Beynon, both 23, were found dead about 6:45 p.m. inside the Cottages complex.

The couple was not married and no other people were in the home when the shooting occurred, deputies said.

Investigators said the couple had a 6-month-old son together, and Beynon also had a 2-year-old son. The children remain in the care of Beynon's mother, deputies said.

Deputies said the weapon used to commit the murder-suicide was a 40-caliber handgun.

Investigators said there was only one previous call for service at the home involving law enforcement. A deputy responded to the condo a month ago at the request of Beynon to stand by and keep the peace while she removed personal belongings from the condo.

Family members told deputies that Beynon continued living in the home with Johns even after the call for service.

Peggy Payne, the CEO of Quigley House, the Clay County women's shelter, said that was likely a mistake.

"Things got bad enough that she was afraid. And for survivors, when you call for help, you are breaking that band of silence," said Payne. 

Neighbors spoke out Thursday night about the murder-suicide.

"I just feel really bad because when I came outside that evening I heard arguing, but I didn’t know where it came from," said Marcella Kennistor.  

At the time, Marcella Kennistor said she  didn’t think much of  the argument, but now, she said she wishes she had.

"You hear it occasionally. Kind of looked around, then got in the car and left, then came back to find out this had happened," said Kennistor.