Benefit Held for Murder Victim's Children - KMSP-TV

Benefit Held for Murder Victim's Children

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On July 25, police made a gruesome discovery inside a Mesa apartment and say Eric Grumpelt allegedly murdered his girlfriend and stuffed her body under the bed, leaving it there for two months.

"You see this on tv..you never think it will happen to your family," said Rick Fifield, the victim's brother.

Fifield says 39-year-old Malinda Raya, a mother of two, loved her children more than life itself.

Raya's nephew, Chance, says coping with the tragedy has been hardest for the children.

"I think right now, it's more confusion than anything..it's hard for them to truly understand."

On Saturday, family and friends gathered for a fundraiser at the Monastery in Mesa - an effort to help Raya's 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter live a life they would have had with their mother.

"They're still so young, they're not going to know their mom and stuff so we're just trying to put the word out of who she really was," said Rick.

Grumpelt, who tried to kill himself by overdosing on drugs the day Raya's body was found, told police he repeatedly struck her in the lower abdomen with his knee because she said she cheated on him.

Even though he's been charged with second degree murder, those who loved her most say it will never bring Malinda back.

"I guess rotting in prison is the best we can do for now..we'll take what we can get as long as justice is served," said Chance.

Police say in an attempt to mask the smell, Grumpelt wrapped Raya's body in three sheets and kept carpet cleaner and room freshner in the apartment.

As for the children, the family has set up an account for them through Wells Fargo under "Malinda Raya Children's Fund" the number is 1559431455.

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