An Orinda police spokesman identified the man in custody for killing his live-in girlfriend after a domestic dispute segued to homicide Tuesday as 62-year-old James Collin of Orinda.
Collin, who owned the neatly kept home on Moraga Way where police were summoned by a neighbor shortly after noon Tuesday, is being held on one count of murder at the county jail in Martinez. His bail has been set at $1 million.
Both the Orinda Police Department and the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff -- which contracts police services to the city -- are investigating the case, according to sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee.
Lee said the name of Collin's 51-year-old girlfriend, found dead on the kitchen floor in the home they had shared the last ten years, has not been released because investigators are still attemping to locate and notify her next of kin.
An autopsy conducted Wednesday morning determined that the woman died as a result of "blunt force and sharp force injury" to her head, Lee said. Although the murder weapon has been recovered investigators declined to say what it was.
Anyone with any information on this case is asked to call detectives at (925) 313-2600. The case is being presented to the District Attorney's Office this afternoon, according to Lee.
Neighbors of the couple said they frequently argued. Police confirmed that officers had been called to the residence before for domestic violence calls and that the couple was known to them. Collin was reportedly seen tending his flowers prior to a call for help from a 90-year-old neighbor shortly after noon Tuesday. It was not known what sparked the argument that led to the woman's death.
Responding officers encountered Collin, his clothes in disarray from an apparent scuffle, and took him into custody as he emerged from the neighbor's house and made spontaneous admissions of responsibility for the killing.