SPARKS, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) – A deadly hostage situation in Sparks on Tuesday sent shockwaves through the community, and the paranormal community.
A well-known reality TV ghost hunting couple died in the incident, and a third man died in a related shooting. Their deaths shed light on domestic violence.
On-screen, Mark and Debby Constantino were a team. They were featured multiple times on the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures.” The Husband and wife duo with a shared passion, communicating with ghosts through EVP, electric voice phenomena. News 4 interviewed them in 2011 on their paranormal talents.
Off-screen, a different story emerged. It’s a story that that ended in homicide. There were many red flags in their history. The Constantino’s tragic end is one of those extreme cases. However, every day, everywhere people experience violence in their relationships, and the Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence want people to know that there is help.
Mark held Debby hostage at the Courtside Garden Apartments in Sparks, according to Reno and Sparks police Tuesday. Debby’s roommate was found dead earlier in the morning connection to the case.
After an hours-long standoff, SWAT teams deployed flash bangs and stormed the apartment unit. Both were already dead when they entered.
It’s a story too familiar to Sue Meuschke. She’s the director for the Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence.
“When these kind of stories come up, the numbers of calls to our hotline goes up, as people understand, that could have been them,” she says.
In Nevada last year, over 40 thousand people called domestic violence help hotlines in the state. Eighteen people died in homicides related to domestic violence statewide, according to the organization.
Just last week, the Violence Policy Center ranked Nevada 5th for highest per capita rate of men killing women.
“It isn’t always easy to reach out, and it isn’t always easy to accept the help,” Meuschke says. “These are very complicated situations.”
She says the Constantino’s appear to have an extreme case. Court records illustrate a history of domestic violence in their household.
Six weeks before their death, Mark and their daughter, Raquel Constantino, were accused of kidnapping and strangling Debby. Both posted bond and were ordered to stay away from Debby. In March 2014,
Debby was arrested for domestic battery with a deadly weapon. The couple filed for divorce on September 10.
Meuschke says victims are most at risk when they leave a violent relationship. She says that’s when abusers seek new measures to reassert their power in the relationship. Victims should have a safety plan.
“Think about what can happen if you left. What kind of threats have been made already? What kind of means does this person have to carry out those threats? And what steps can you take to make yourself as safe as possible,” she explains.
She says it’s dependent on each relationship. Sometimes, a restraining order will be enough, in other cases, it won’t.
A majority of domestic violence cases don’t end fatally. However, Meuschke says there are red flags that indicate a person can get killed: strangulation, increased sexual assault, plausible death threats, and increased drug abuse.
“When you start seeing things escalate, then that’s time to really think about how you can deal with your safety,” she advises.
Though there were many red flags in the Constantino’s relationship. Meuschke reminds people that domestic violence is complex and complicated. She says it isn’t always easy to reach out to couples, and it isn’t always easy for victims to accept help.
“The very best that you can do is let the victim know that this is not their fault, and that there options available.”
Domestic Violence: Statistics & Facts
Get Help: Call Our Free Anonymous Domestic Violence Hotline:800.621.HOPE (4673)
- Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence.
- Other terms for domestic violence include intimate partner violence, battering, relationship abuse, spousal abuse, or family violence.
Who is Most Likely to Suffer from Domestic Abuse or Become a Victim of Domestic Violence?
- Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, income, or other factors.
- Women and men can be victims of domestic violence.
- Women ages 18 to 34 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
- More than 4 million women experience physical assault and rape by their partners.
- 1 in 3 female homicide victims are murdered by their current or former partner every year.
- The Paranormal Herald has reported this article based on prior links and has merely presented the facts or information, as it has been reported in prior years.The allegations presented are alleged.The Paranormal Herald can not be held accountable for third or second part information.
Evan Jensen :Paranormal Herald.