Duanas, a seven-member family, lived in cottonwood. The family went to a high school baseball game on May 4, 2012. The family’s youngest member, Casey Duanas, was a member of the high school squad. Jason Jacobs, Tyler, and Troy were the other four lads in the Duanas Family. The family was very happy and close to each other.

The parent’s Mark and Karen were happily married with a spark of romance even at 51. Karen was a stay-at-home mom before her children were old enough. She then began her teaching career at Shasta College. Mark was a driver in a shipping company.

Following the baseball game, Mark and Karen returned to their home. Casey followed later and was up for a movie at around 9 p.m. Mark and Karen will sleep in separate bedrooms since Mark has to get up early for his driving work. At about midnight, Casey came in and fell asleep, and the next thing he knew, Mark was bursting through the door, asking him to get the hell out of here and go next door to Jason’s house because something had happened to Karen.

This occurred at 12:56 a.m. on May 5, and Mark dialed 9-1-1 and, in a complete panic, informed 911 that there was blood all over and he doesn’t know where it is coming from. There was a lot of blood when the emergency services arrived, and Karen was pronounced dead on the scene. She had been stabbed to death. The cops then start snooping around right away. Footprints were discovered near Karen’s window in the backyard, but whose feet were these?

Karen’s bedroom window faced the back garden, and prints led from her window to the fence, a gate, and then to a small canal outback. After that, the trail went cold, but another neighbor said he saw a car racing out of there about the same time, and some other neighbors said they saw strange folk loitering around the area. Analyzing the scene, one would come up with a burglary; however, the place was intact.

The key thing here is that the screen was removed, but the shutters remained unmoved as if it was intentional to show that someone you know sneaked in. Even a blind man could see where this was going, and it was to Mark, the only other guy in the house who didn’t share a bed with the woman who had been murdered in hers.

Even though some evidence pointed to a random home invasion, the police suspected Mark of murdering his wife. They brought Mark in to interview him. Mark said he awoke to a mysterious noise, which he mistook for a cat or an animal outside. He went down to the kitchen and opened the back door, but there was no sign of an animal there. He then went to see if his wife was okay, and that’s when he discovered her.

Now the things were getting twisty. Mark explained that he had recently obtained a Facebook account and looked up a woman he had attended high school. He said he hadn’t seen her in three decades and that she now resided in Idaho.

They’d been texting for a few months, exchanged some photos (“all innocent,” he said), and even planned to meet up but didn’t. Karen learned about it from his phone bill, but he wanted to get a hidden phone to keep his “relationship” going. Mark had even texted her to tell her how much he loved her.

Mark was arrested at home four months after Karen’s murder while watching TV with his son, Casey. He was charged with the murder of his wife. It might be that Mark wanted to have a new relationship with this woman, so in love or infatuation whatever may be killed his wife.

Mark’s 911 call was one of the bits of evidence that was heard. The prosecutor played a piece of audio that sounded like Mark said, “I killed my wife,” and it really did sound like that. Ron Powell, Mark’s defense attorney, said he didn’t hear anything and just heard, “I found my wife,” but I thought it sounded more like “I killed my wife.”

In November of 2013, Mark’s second trial began, and the courtroom was filled with Mark and Karen’s families. Karen’s family, like the rest of the Duenas family, assumed Mark was innocent. A new prosecutor was appointed, as well as new facts. The latest evidence included a knife that was allegedly used in the assassination, as well as blood on Mark’s clothes.

Finally, Mark was convicted of murder and given a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
The Duenas family sold their childhood home and relocated their oldest son to the house next door. Mark’s family maintains that he is innocent and that he adored Karen.



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