A Simi Valley retired teacher was allegedly killed by her former lover who died of a heart attack while fleeing the scene, police said Wednesday.
Janice Somple, a 65-year-old divorced former teacher who lived in the 1500 block of Carmen Drive, was found dead in her home May 31.
Somple had taught English at West Lake High School and had "no enemies at all," her neighbors in the quiet community had said.
The Simi Valley Police Department announced in a news conference Wednesday that Somple had been allegedly killed by Paul Porter, a former Ventura County resident with whom she had once had a relationship.
Police said Porter and Somple, pictured below, had a "dating relationship" 15 years ago that ended "amicably."
"We know Paul killed Janice and how he did it. We are still seeking an answer as to why he returned to Janice's home after many years and murdered her," said Sgt. Randy Foushee, who oversaw the investigation.
Police said they would release few details about the killing as the investigation was continuing. They said Porter acted alone but the motive remained unknown.
Soon after Somple's body was found, detectives obtained a description of a vehicle and suspect seen leaving Somple's home, Foushee said. Detectives were then contacted by the police department's traffic division, which reported a collision that occurred at 1:15 p.m. May 31 involving the vehicle that was seen at Somple's house.
Traffic investigators and the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the crash, 1.5 miles from Somple's home, was caused by the driver, Porter, suffering a fatal heart attack while at the wheel. Porter crashed his truck at Madera Avenue and Country Club East Drive, Foushee said.
"Mr. Porter died from a heart attack while fleeing the scene of this terrible homicide," Lt Joseph May said.
Somple's neighbors said they were relieved to know the killiing wasn't random. The strange twist of Porter's death by heart attack was striking.
"That's karma for you," one neighbor said. "He got what was coming to him."
Porter's ex-wife, who lives in Oregon, was distraught at the news. She said she didn't understand why Porter would commit such a crime.
Anyone who knew Somple or Porter is asked to call Detective Swanson at 805-583-6969.