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US Marine arrested in San Bernardino County double homicide

By NASHELLY CHAVEZ | The Sacramento Bee (Tribune News Service) | Published: April 1, 2017

An active duty Marine with ties to Sacramento was arrested Thursday for allegedly killing two women in their San Bernardino County home.

Social media accounts under the name of 22-year-old Rafael Ari Aikens indicate he attended local high schools in the Sacramento area. Several of the friends on his Facebook page list home cities as Sacramento and Folsom.

Aikens was arrested by authorities Thursday in his assigned housing unit at the U.S. Marine Corps base known as Twentynine Palms. The arrest came after investigators determined he was a person of interest in a March 24 double homicide case.

The two women were found dead in a home located in the San Bernardino city of Twentynine Palms after deputies received a 911 call just past midnight. They were identified as Twentynine Palms residents Renee Metcalf, 62, and her 32-year-old daughter Christy McKissic, said Cindy Bachman, a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman

Both women suffered from multiple gunshot wounds. An unharmed 10-year-old girl was also found inside the home, which is roughly 10 miles from the military base.

Aikens was an active duty U.S. Marine who enlisted in December 2014 and was deployed to the Middle East from April 2015 to September 2016, according to 1st Lt. Matthew Gregory, a spokesman with the 1st Marine Division. Aikens worked as a machine gunner during his tour abroad. His end of enlistment was slated for December 2018.

Aikens is being held at the San Bernardino County West Valley Detention Center with bail set at $2 million. He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

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