Goleta murder-suicide victim was beaten and strangled

An autopsy has revealed that a 42-year-old Goleta woman beat and choked a 57-year-old Florida woman to death last week prior to taking her own life.

Shortly after 7 a.m. on Sept. 12, a relative of one of the women called 911 to say she found a body in her relative’s apartment on the 7000 block of Aldus Drive in Goleta. Inside the apartment, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies  found the body of Christina Marie Martin, of Tampa Bay.

According to the autopsy report, during a violent altercation Martin was battered on the head and upper body and suffered a compression of the neck, according to the autopsy report. The coroner determined the cause of death as “dual modality homicidal violence” resulting in traumatic injuries.

After finding Martin’s body, deputies discovered the body of Beth Curnow of Goleta in the garage. Martin and Curnow were longtime acquaintances with ties to Florida, according to the sheriff’s office.

Detectives have yet to determine the motive of the murder-suicide or the circumstances that led to incident.

An investigation into the case is ongoing.