Voice mail message warns of impending murder

October 8, 2012

Edmund Nungaray


A mentally ill man who allegedly murdered his neighbor in San Luis Obispo had told a friend, police and his landlord of his aggravation over a missing cell phone prior to the forewarned assault, several inside sources told CalCoastNews.

Edmund Nungaray, 59, is suspected of choking Deirdre Crowley, 46, to unconsciousness. She died Friday after being taken off life support.

Shortly after midnight on Sept. 30, officers responding to calls of a disturbance at the Bullock Garden Apartment complex discovered Nungaray near the open door of the victim’s apartment.

Before the assault, Nungaray had called the San Luis Obispo Police Department to report that his neighbor had his phone and was refusing to return it. Then, at about 9 p.m. on Sept. 30, he left a voice message for his landlord asking for help.

However, the office was closed and the message was not retrieved until after Nungaray allegedly assaulted Crowley.

In the message, Nungaray introduces himself as a tenant and says that Crowley has stolen his phone. Nungaray had already called police who conducted an unsuccessful search of Crowley’s apartment, he said.

He then asks his landlord to evict Crowley and warns if they do not, he will throw her down the stairs.

In another forewarning of the lethal assault, shortly before he entered Crowley’s apartment, Nungaray told another neighbor that he was going to attack Crowley if she did not return his phone.

On Sept. 30, police charged Nungaray with attempted murder and booked him into the San Luis Obispo County Jail with bail set at $500,000. In light of Crowley’s death, it is likely Nungaray will be charged with murder.

Nungaray is the seventh mentally ill person to be suspected or accused of killing in the past 21 months in San Luis Obispo County. Eight people have lost their lives.

On Christmas night 2010, Andrew Downs, a diagnosed schizophrenic, allegedly shot and killed two sisters he did not know in Santa Margarita. During his arrest, Downs told officers he needed to go to a mental hospital to get his medicine, which he had run out of three days earlier.

In March 2011, a psychotic man, John Woody, stabbed a stranger 22 times in a Paso Robles laundromat killing him.

Six months later, Christopher Shumey, a San Luis Obispo man with a history of mental health problems, allegedly shot and killed his mother at his apartment on the corner of Beach and Buchon streets.

In April 2012, Paso Robles police arrested Sunni Jackson, a diagnosed schizophrenic who had not been taking her medicine, in connection with the killing her 61-year-old mother Earlene Grove during an argument.

In May 2012, two weeks after Michael Van Heuver allegedly assaulted his mother at her home in Los Osos, she died from her injuries

Shortly before her son allegedly strangled her, Lisa Van Heuver sent an email to San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors detailing problems her son had with drug use and mental health issues. She asked the supervisors to support local programs that assist those addicted to drugs and mentally ill.

In late August 2012, Brandon Henslee, 22, was accused of killing his younger brother and placing the body in a trash can at their home in Cambria. A year earlier, Henslee attempted to get help for his mental illness, but was arrested after making a comment a nurse at the county mental health facility took as a threat.

Several of the victim’s and murder suspect’s families say the county’s failure to provide adequate mental health services has led to the increase in San Luis Obispo County homicides.


CA Native

This is the kind of thing that is going to continue to happen as long as the libertarian/conservative/teabag/rightwingwacko faction refuse to fund public healthcare.

So you self-centered rightwingers saved some money. I hope you choke on a nickel.


Uh…. it’s funded. Just not spent where it needs to be spent. YOGA for employees with someone with mental illness in the family? Really? When we keep hearing stories like this one? There’s over seven BILLION dollars out there funded from the “millionaire’s” tax. Somebody isn’t spending the money wisely. I wonder whom that might be?


Sorry, that isn’t the way the founders intended. The government isn’t supposed to be our nanny.

If you feel that you need a nanny, move to Britain. I hear that their death panel works very efficiently.

Otherwise, use the mechanism built into our Constitution to add an Amendment to radically,change our nation. Failing that, sit down and be quiet while the adults take care of things.



I don’t know how much money you think we should throw at this, but please be assured that us anti-solialized bums do support “behaviorial health” issues with our tax dollars at around $4 BILLION Statewide and in San Luis County to the toon of $47+ MILLION. The question goes back to all the other programs government runs – how much money is enough. Personally, I think a County of 271,000 people and a Behavial Health budget of $47 MILLION is quite sufficent. The question is not about giving the money, the question is how it is used. Sort of like all that tax money collected on cigarettes. Anyone ever question what the State does with the BILLIONS collected on this! SPEND SPEND SPEND – WASTE WASTE WASTE


Was the bums phone EVER found? and DID the lady he killed have it?


All these killings are the fruit of a medical system that’s geared to profit instead of providing people with what they need to function properly. Think about it all you stingy anti-socialized medicine folks. If these people had their meds, the outcome may have been very different.


It’s not a matter of having the meds, it’s a matter of taking the meds and having the correct meds in the first place. Mentally ill people are on the streets with no oversight. Having socialized medicine will not make the difference; we need living facilities where the mentally ill who can live on their own have guidance and help available and can be monitored. Until then, there is a program whereby the severely mentally ill are monitored, but this county needs to apply for it. We have the money to do so, but the County Health Department needs to really push for it. Penny Borenstein needs to get busy and do something besides attend meetings.


Makes you question who is allowing this at the hospital level and why these people are being released. Accountability!


SLO County Mental Health is a JOKE…Nothing but inept, incompetant employees & “Doctors”…


You need to read up on mental health treatment. Most of these people have never been hospitalized.

Downtown Bob


Here you go my liberal “Tax the Rich” friends! LMFAO! Yoga classes, horseback riding! Read the article about where the “millionaires tax” mental health money is going and weep. Just wait until Obamacare is enacted and see the waste there too. LOL LOL LOL!


Bob you are soooooo SPOT ON on this. The sad part thou is that they won’t believe it. It is proproganda as far as they are concerned.

This is one reason why I am voting NO on the Brown sales tax. I believe that Brown has the states interest in mind BUT just like this it WILL be misdirected to more waste as usual.

Downtown Bob

I am sure they will dismiss it, even though it is from the liberal San Jose Mercury.


With the joy you seem to take in the deaths of these people, and the fact that you find this so funny, I have to wonder if you’re not mentally ill, please don’t take this the wrong way, Im not trying to say you are retarded, Im just saying you are a very sick person with an extremely low IQ.


There were more than a few that warned that these incidents of untreated, unmonitored mentally disturbed people committing senseless crimes would only accelerate after St. Ronnie shuttered most of the facilities.

Downtown Bob

That was what, 40 years ago?


It was absolutely outrageous when Reagan started closing such facilities as Camarillo State, that left many mentally ill folks running loose on the streets, Thanks Reagan for doing such a dis-service to California & the Nation…


Reagan did not close Camarillo. Camarillo closed AFTER he was PRESIDENT.


Don’t forget the ACLU that came along with mental patient rights so that mental patients cannot be required to go for treatment or take medication.


People are way too attached to their cell phones.


Whether she had the phone or not seems irrelevant.

Speaking of irrelevant, so is this whole mental illness cop-out. If someone proves they are a danger to our society by committing murder, they should not be given any special treatment. I know this is harsh given the need in our society to be “politically correct”, but I would suggest that the crime he committed is more so. (I am not disputing there are mentally ill criminals, however it should not be allowed as an excuse for unaccountability.)

Just how “sane” does someone have to be to commit murder and be held responsible?


It would be interesting to learn if they ever found his cell phone and where it was located?

Yes he is volatile and dangerous but is he really psychotic or is he a mentally challenged hot head with a bad temper? So ……….did she have his cell phone or not?


The police didn’t find it, and anyway why the heck would Crowley take the cellphone of a crazy unstable neighbor who would want to kill her to get it back!?

I’d bet that the crazy old man never even had a cellphone!


Just the one ringing in his head.

The information in the above article should be enough to get a concealed weapon permit in this county.


“The police didn’t find it, and anyway why the heck would Crowley take the cellphone of a crazy unstable neighbor”

Because she was also an unstable neighbor. Also, the police didn’t search her apartment unless she gave them permission to and there are way too many places to hide a cell phone. They might have done a quick scan around the place and then told him they searched but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that they didn’t really search the place. That would have taken hours.

So again, I wonder, did she or did she not have his cell phone?

Downtown Bob

Who cares? The guy is a freaking nut! I hope she flushed the phone down the toilet at least she got the last laugh on looney Eddie.


Or if he even had a cell phone to lose.