Justin Medof, 31, is accused of killing his girlfriend, Stephanie Duarte, 30, in a Las Vegas hotel room, say police

By KC Baker
July 20, 2021 04:40 PM
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Stephanie Duarte - Justin Medof
Stephanie Duarte and Justin Medof
| Credit: GoFundMe; Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

A California law school student is accused of killing his girlfriend in a Las Vegas hotel room, telling police he woke up and found her "beaten, bloody and unconscious," authorities say.

On July 12 at about 8:16 a.m., Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officers responded to a 911 call about a "suspicious incident" at the Home2 Suites on Dean Martin Drive, according to the LVMPD, KTNV reports.

The man who called 911 told police he woke up and found his girlfriend, identified as Stephanie Duarte, 30, beaten and bloody, according to an arrest report obtained by 8 News Now.

The man, identified as Justin Medof, 31, of California, said he found the room "covered in blood" and bathed her to try to revive her, the arrest report says, KVVU reports.

Arriving officers saw Medof giving chest compressions to Duarte in an attempt to revive her, the arrest report says.

While officers took Medof to another room, one of the other officers and EMTs tried to perform CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the woman, but said her jaw was locked, the report says.

She seemed to be in rigor mortis and had been dead for "a few hours" before Medof called 911, according to the report.

Duarte suffered blunt force trauma to the head, the LVMPD says in the release.

Medof allegedly told police that he and his girlfriend had gotten into an argument while they were out the night before and came back to the hotel separately.

Nearby guests told police they heard arguing and loud noises coming from the couple's room between 2 and 3 a.m., the report says.

Detectives said they saw "red marks" on Medof's body, the report says.

Medof was arrested and charged with open murder with the use of a deadly weapon or tear gas, according to online court records.

He is being held without bond in the Clark County Detention Center. He hasn't entered a plea. His attorney and the LVMPD did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's requests for comment.

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As Medof awaits his next court date, Duarte's family and friends are mourning her loss.

Her death "was tragic and unexpected, leaving us all shocked that a beautiful, young angel would have her life cut short," wrote a close friend of Duarte's who set up a GoFundMe to help her family defray funeral costs.

"Stephanie was a bright spark in the world and will be deeply missed," the friend wrote. "Those of you who knew Stephanie knew how contagious her energy and ambition was. Stephanie has left lasting impressions on many of us with the pure joy and love she carried with her and she will forever be remembered in our hearts and souls."

Duarte was attending the University of California San Diego with hopes of becoming a nurse, her friend wrote.