Two people, including a former professional baseball player, were arrested Friday morning following a “protracted” two-year murder investigation in connection with the fatal attack on a couple in West Lake Tahoe, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said.
Danny Serafini, 49, and Samantha Scott, 33, were arrested separately in Nevada on suspicion of the murder of Robert Gary Spohr, 70, and the attempted murder of his wife Wendy Wood, 68.
Spohr and Wood were attacked on the evening of June 5, 2021 at their home in Homewood on the west shore of Lake Tahoe. Officers responded to the home after receiving a 911 call from the residence.
They arrived to find Spohr dead from a single gunshot and Wood suffering from two gunshot wounds to the head. Wood regained consciousness after the attack and called for help Daughter Adrienne Spohr told The Sacramento Bee in February.
She was transported to a hospital where she was treated for over a month, Adrienne Spohr said at the time. Wood underwent extensive rehabilitation but died a year later, the sheriff’s office said.
Eight months after the attack, the Spohr family offered a $150,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.
“For me, everyday life with the uncertainty about who did it and why was the most excruciating thing,” said Adrienne Spohr. She could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday.
Video surveillance was a clue to the case
Early in the investigation, investigators recovered video surveillance from a home on West Lake Boulevard and showed a man wearing a gray hoodie, white neck gaiter and backpack walking toward Spohr and Wood’s home hours before the attack. Another video shows the same man walking up the driveway of their home.
On June 5, officers responded to a 911 call from a home in Homewood. They arrived and located 70-year-old Robert Gary Spohr, who was found dead from a gunshot wound. For information regarding this murder/surveillance systems along W Lake Boulevard, call (530) 889-7853 pic.twitter.com/MlsBgvOi3G
– Placer Sheriff (@PlacerSheriff) June 10, 2021
“Since then, (Placer County Sheriff’s Office) detectives have worked tirelessly over the past two years, dedicating countless hours to follow-up alongside the (District Attorney’s Office),” the Sheriff’s Office said. “The information and evidence collected led investigators to identify Serafini and Scott as suspects.”
Serafini was arrested in Winnemucca with the help of Winnemucca police and the U.S. Marshal Service office in Reno. Scott was arrested in south Las Vegas by the U.S. Marshal Service’s Nevada Violent Offender Task Force. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office also assisted with the arrests, Placer officials said.
“Today, justice was served,” Sheriff Wayne Woo said in a statement. “The arrest of those responsible for the tragic events that occurred in Homewood, North Lake Tahoe in 2021 is a testament to the unwavering commitment of our detectives, law enforcement partners and the persistence in our pursuit of the truth.” that my team’s commitment to solving the most complex cases prevails and that those who harm our community are held accountable every time.”
“This is a tremendous relief for our close-knit North Tahoe community,” said County Supervisor Cindy Gustafson, who represents the Tahoe region. “Many of us knew Gary and Wendy personally and were horrified by the murder and shooting. I want to thank our Placer County Sheriff and our District Attorney investigators who spent countless hours pursuing leads and gathering evidence so that justice could be served.”
Scott and Serafini will be extradited to Placer County, the sheriff’s office said.
The suspect was in the big leagues on a reality show
Serafini is a former Major League Baseball player who was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 1992. A left-handed pitcher, he also played for the Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds and Colorado Rockies. according to Baseball Reference.
He played his last professional game in 2007 before being suspended for 50 games after failing a performance-enhancing drug test. an ESPN report said at the time. Two years later he played for Italy in the World Baseball Classic.
Serafini attended Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo before his baseball career. The school’s graduates include Barry Bonds and Tom Brady.
A search of public records shows that Serafini had a familial relationship with Spohr and Wood and had married one of their daughters, Erin.
Serafini and his wife appeared on a 2015 episode of Paramount Network’s “Bar Rescue,” in which he told producers that after his major league career ended, he lost $14 million through “bad investments and a bitter divorce settlement.” ” have lost.
He bought a bar called Bullpen in Sparks, Nevada, and according to the broadcastSerafini was $300,000 in debt and was in danger of losing his home and his parents’ home.