Family and friends react to arrests in Pinyon Pines case

PALM DESERT, Calif. - Family and friends are reacting to the murder charges in the Pinyon Pines murder case that dates back to 2006.  Cristin Smith and Robert Pape face charges in the triple murder.  People who know the men and people who knew the victims are speaking out. "Time passes and you deal with the losses, but now it's kind of like bringing back what happened to them," said Linda King, a friend of the Friedli family.  

The heartbreaking memories came rushing back for King this week.  Memories more than seven years old, memories of the 2006 murders of her friends and neighbors: Vickie Friedli, her boyfriend, John Hayward, and her daughter, Becky Friedli in Pinyon Pines. 

King's children grew up alongside the Friedli kids.  Just three days before her death, King sat and spoke to Becky about her plans for college and becoming a nurse.  "It's just sad that she was cut off at eighteen, that's just the beginning of life," said King.  

King posted photos of herself with Becky and Vickie after prosecutors filed murder charges against Cristin Smith and Robert Pape.  She also spoke to members of the family after the arrests.  "They just seem happy," said King. "The girls have been happy that arrests have been made."

While King plans to watch the trial closely, Robert Pape's neighbors plan to do the same.  People in his Cathedral City neighborhood did not want us to show their faces on camera, but said they're still in shock after his arrest. "Just took my breath away because it's so in opposition to his personality that I saw," said one of the neighbors.  

"You would never think that your neighbor would ever be involved in that but especially him, he was such a sweet man," said another neighbor.  

Both the friends of the suspects and victims in this case are still trying to get a handle on everything, especially after all these years.  "Well it's painful and obviously you know, we're all impatient," said King. 

We received a statement from Jon Hayward's daughter Katie: 

"We have been waiting so long for closure to this horrifying nightmare and I could not be happier that the suspects have finally been charged.  I believe that this trial will bring out the truth to why the lives of my father, Becky and Vickie were taken from us too soon.  Although I am ecstatic that there have finally been arrests made, nothing will bring them back to us or heal the pain that has been caused for everything for everyone involved."

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