VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — The 28-year-old mother of 3 shot to death in the bathroom of her Vancouver home recently discovered her husband was having an affair.
Amanda Gayle Marjama was shot in the forehead in the master bath of their house in Vancouver, court documents revealed. The 28-year-old mother of 3 young children was allegedly killed by her husband, Todd Marjama, who faces a 1st-degree murder charge.The background
Family members told investigators Amanda discovered a short time ago her husband was having an affair and the couple had been arguing since that time.
Amanda and Todd lived with their kids — ages 7, 4 and 2 — in a house in the 7300 block of NE 109th along with Amanda’s brother, Donald Bestpitch. Four related families also live adjacent to or across from the Marjama home.
They were worried for Amanda, they said, and said Todd previously threatened to kill her and their children. The family counseled her to get a restraining order against Todd, but she declined.
Two days before the shooting, family members said, Todd again threatened to kill Amanda.The day of the shooting
Tuesday afternoon, investigators said, family members saw Todd waving a handgun around and were worried Todd was going to hurt someone.
That evening, Bestpitch told investigators he heard a gunshot from the master bedroom and went to check. He saw Todd sitting on the end of the bed holding a gun in his right hand. His left hand was bleeding, and Bestpitch thought Todd shot himself in the hand.
“The first thing they say is ‘Where’s mommy? When is she coming home?'”
— Amanda’s cousin Michael Collins
Bestpitch took the gun from Todd, locked it in a safe and decided to drive Todd to the hospital.
But before they left, Amanda’s aunt, Helen Lewis, heard crying coming from the bathoom. She looked in and saw the 2-year-old crying, then saw Amanda’s body with a bullet wound in the head.
She ran out and yelled Amanda was shot in the bathroom.
Bestpitch went back in the house and found Amanda’s body on the bathroom floor. As he did that, Todd ran off.The capture
A few minutes later, Todd was spotted in the driveway of Briana and Emery Steiner, who called 911.
“We were doing a bunch of yard work and the suspect ran up from the road and come running past our fence yelling,” Briana Steiner told KOIN 6 News.
“Then there was a couple of guys who started confronting him in front of our house. He kept saying he was a veteran but then the one guy was like, ‘He killed my sister!’ And I asked him, ‘Right now?’ And he goes, ‘Yeah, right now. He killed my sister.’”
Steiner said, “(Marjama) just kept saying he’s a veteran. That’s it.”
Momentarily, a number of police officers arrived and took Todd Marjama into custody.
Authorities then took him to Legacy Emanuel Hospital for treatment on his injured hand. Marjama appeared “calm and collected, had not asked questions about anything that had happened and had volunteered that he did not remember what happened.”
Investigators said Amanda’s mother, Beatrice Kamp, said Todd made numerous threats against Amanda and sent texts with the threats to Kamp.
Helen Lewis, Amanda’s aunt, told investigators Todd believed Amanda was lying to him and was talking on the Internet with another man.
Todd Marjama, 27, made his first court appearance Thursday morning. He’s being held without bail and is expected back in court on July 14.
‘None of us realized it was as bad as it was’
Amanda’s cousins, Elizabeth Lewis and Michael Collins, shared their thoughts about her with KOIN 6 News.
“She was a very giving person. She helped anybody who was in need, even if she didn’t have anything to give you,” Lewis said. “She gave you as much support, love, anything that was in her hands that she was capable of.”
Amanda loved being a mom always wanted a large family, she said. “Her goal was 3 kids and she got that.”
For now, her kids are staying with Amanda’s mom. “She’s a bus driver and she doesn’t make a whole lot of money,” Lewis said. The GoFundMe account “will help my aunt get them what they need.”
The kids don’t understand what’s going on right now, she said. “They know but they don’t understand.”
The family is focused on making sure the kids have the best life they possibly can.
24-hour crisis hotline: 503.235.5333
“The first thing they say is ‘Where’s mommy? When is she coming home? Is she at the hospital? Why are the cops here?'” Collins told KOIN 6 News. “What do you tell them?”
Lewis said their family is very tight and this has brought them closer.