Police: Triple murder suspect lived with victims’ bodies for days

Posted at 8:16 AM, June 30, 2023

LAS VEGAS (Scripps News Las Vegas/Court TV) — An arrest reports claims a Las Vegas man killed two people and lived with their bodies for days before killing another.

Spencer McDonald, 30, was arrested June 27 and charged with three counts of open murder with a deadly weapon and one count of attempted murder with a deadly weapon, according to jail records.

spencer mcdonald mugshot

This booking photo provided by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows Spencer McDonald. (LVMPD)

Authorities say McDonald killed his grandmother, Dina Vail, and her boyfriend, Andrew Graden, and lived with their bodies for several days in their apartment. He then allegedly killed maintenance worker Chris Brassard during a welfare check.

This all began when Vail didn’t show up for a ballet class on Monday night that she normally teaches at a local dance studio. An unidentified friend of Vail’s said they had a close friendship and he would normally drive her to the ballet studio and her doctor’s appointments. He said he showed up to the apartment to pick Vail up for dance class, which he said he does every week. He told investigators he saw a package at the door and no one answered when he knocked on the door so he thought Vail got another ride. However, the friend told police she never showed up to class. He then messaged a family member who said they hadn’t heard from her.

On Tuesday, the report states the friend told police a family member messaged him saying McDonald told him that Vail “took the day off” but that they still hadn’t heard from her. That day, they requested a welfare check.

That’s what led to maintenance workers checking on the apartment. According to the report, the two went to the apartment and Brassard knocked on the door. When no one answered, the report states they used a master key to enter the apartment. When they went inside, the surviving maintenance worker told police they saw a piece of cardboard on the floor covering what they thought was blood and they also saw blood on the walls. That’s when he told police they saw McDonald coming out of the spare bedroom holding a weapon. As the two tried to run away, the maintenance worker said McDonald swung a weapon at Brassard who then yelled out in pain. The surviving maintenance worker was able to get to the leasing office where he called the police.

When officers arrived, they found the surviving maintenance worker bleeding from the back and McDonald had run away from the apartment. However, the report states he was brought into custody after a short foot chase. While processing the scene, investigators said they found a large chef’s knife and sword that were covered in blood.

During an interview with detectives, McDonald said he had lived with his grandmother for about two years. He told investigators that he had killed Vail a few days prior after bludgeoning and stabbing her while she was in bed. After that, McDonald told police he waited in the living room for Graden to return to the apartment. That’s when he was attacked. According to the report, McDonald said he dragged Graden’s body into the master bedroom and lived in the apartment for several days, going about his normal activities. He said he “didn’t get around to disposing of the bodies.”

According to investigators, McDonald did not provide a specific reason for the killings.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Las Vegas, an E.W. Scripps Company.


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