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Slain Stanton mobile home sales workers were shot, sheriff says

Matthew Scott and Elizabeth Palmer died of gunshot wounds to the upper torso in what may have been a targeted killing, the Orange County Sheriff's Department says.

February 12, 2009|Tony Barboza

The two employees whose bodies were found in a Stanton mobile home sales office last week were killed by gunfire, Orange County sheriff's officials said Wednesday as family members pleaded for more clues about who committed the double homicide.

Don Scott, co-owner of Golden Sun Homes in the 12300 block of Beach Boulevard, discovered the bodies of his son Matthew Frances Scott, 42, of Costa Mesa, a salesman, and the company's longtime secretary, Elizabeth Palmer, 49, of Fountain Valley, behind a desk just before 11 a.m. on Feb. 2, Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino said at a news conference.

Matthew Scott and Palmer died of gunshot wounds to the upper torso in what may have been a targeted killing, Amormino said. "We believe this is not a random act," he said.

Richard Palmer, Elizabeth's husband of 30 years, said he had exchanged a phone call and text message with her less than an hour before she died.

"It must have been just before," he said. "It was just a normal, boring day at work."

Linda Palmer, Elizabeth's stepdaughter, said the killings have devastated her family and brought her father's marriage to a tragic end.

"Their love was the envy of everybody," she said, adding that there were no indications that anything was wrong on the day of her death. "Our plea goes out to the person that knows who did this."

The fact that Scott and Palmer were shot during business hours suggests a brazen attitude on the part of the killer, said sheriff's investigator Joe Hoskins.

"This was a very callous and cold crime," he said.

There are no suspects, motive or signs of a struggle or forced entry, Hoskins said. Though investigators have not ruled out the possibility of a robbery or other financial motives, those are considered unlikely because it was a business where cash did not change hands and nothing appeared to be missing.

With few leads, investigators are searching Stanton and Garden Grove for Elizabeth Palmer's white 2004 Lexus ES 300 with California license plate number 5FYP194, which they believe the killer drove from the crime scene. She had made the final payment on the vehicle the day of her death, Hoskins said.

Anyone with information on the crime or the location of the car is asked to call (866) TIP-OCSD.

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tony.barboza@latimes.com

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