The Case of the Jealous Lover Boy

Despite all the sex toys, Tim Contreraz and Shawn Drake weren't exactly living together in bliss

"I like chocolate," says Finlay, who has been admiring the arty decor in the home, built in 1916.

She's standing in front of the couch on which Shawn Drake says he was sleeping when Contreraz allegedly attacked him. Surrounding her on the hardwood floor are four double-headed dildos, each of which, according to official police measurements, is a minimum of 12 inches long. One of the sex toys actually is about three inches thick.

Finlay works gory crime scenes for a living, and she seems to have no trouble at all handling (with latex gloves) and photographing victims of violent crimes. But the idea of having to pick up the dildos, catalogue them carefully and place them into an evidence bag sends her into a small tizzy.

Some relationships are based on too much trust.
Dominic Bugatto
Some relationships are based on too much trust.
Murder cop Alex Femenia didn't believe Shawn Drake's story.
Peter Scanlon
Murder cop Alex Femenia didn't believe Shawn Drake's story.

"I don't even want to know what people do with these things," Finlay says, as her face briefly turns a bright red. "Now this is something I've never seen before."

Inside a canvas bag near the couch are lengths of rope, a blindfold, three pairs of handcuffs, a studded collar, a chain with pinchers on the ends, and six more dildos of various sizes.

"Whoa, baby!" Femenia says.

During his observation of the living room, Femenia takes a peek at the extensive DVD collection, noting that the movies Chicken Run and Kinky Lover Boys are stored side by side.

"Got to appreciate variety," the detective says.

The DVD player is in the pause position, and Femenia turns it on. Drew Barrymore is playing Cinderella in the movie Ever After.

He checks to see if the couch possibly might still be wet from when Drake said Contreraz had soaked him with water. It's not, though there's a spray bottle nearby.

Femenia finally is ready to step into the small kitchen, where a grotesque scene awaits.

The body of Tim Contreraz still is leaning against a wall in a sitting position, exactly where the officers first saw him hours earlier.

The victim's head is slumped onto his chest, and a large amount of blood has run its course from the gaping hole in his upper right torso past his white nipple rings to the tiled kitchen floor.

Femenia notes that the victim's blood also has spattered about the kitchen. That tells him Contreraz probably was stabbed where he slumped to the floor, and that the blood had spurted out of his chest.

Blood smears on the wall directly behind and above the body tell him that Contreraz had tried to lift himself up after collapsing, or perhaps Shawn Drake had tried to lift him.

The bludgeoned victim still is wearing his blue-framed glasses.

Perhaps most important to the new investigation, Tim Contreraz died holding a cigarette between the index and middle fingers of his left hand.

It's burned down to the butt, still between his fingers.

The cigarette's presence certainly hurts Drake's self-defense argument.

"This scene is not what he was describing," Femenia says of Drake's earlier statements.

The blood spatterings are everywhere, including halfway up the refrigerator, where they have landed on a magnet of Ken-and-Ken figurines in matching wedding tuxedos.

Several liquor bottles are open on a kitchen counter, including a half-empty bottle of red wine.

"Some wine somme-whatever-he-called-himself," Femenia says, pointing to the not-so-fine Shiraz.

Investigators step gingerly around the blood and directly over the body to get to a back room, where Drake and Contreraz shared a small office. Some of Drake's school artwork hangs on his side of the small room.

The detectives find a broken drinking glass speckled with blood on the office floor.

Looking at Contreraz's computer monitor, Femenia sees it's still connected to a Web site where gay men can meet each other.

Nothing in the house reveals itself as the murder weapon, which suggests that Drake had cleaned it off or disposed of it during his short time on the run.

After spending more than an hour inside the dwelling, Femenia and Tom D'Aguanno check things out in the backyard. By now, the three dogs are starving and confused. D'Aguanno fetches them dry food and fills their water bowls, which immediately wins them over.

As for the coffin standing on one end in the yard, it's empty.

By 3:30, Femenia is ready to leave. Two employees from the county Medical Examiner's Office transport the body to the morgue, where doctors will perform an autopsy in a few days.

As Femenia drives to Chandler to notify Tim Contreraz's sister, he reflects on the previous nine hours.

"When you think about it, many lives have changed today," he says. "Shawn's life is never going to be the same. And the other guy, the guy Shawn supposedly loved? Well, he's dead."

At 4 p.m., the detective gently breaks the bad news that the sister says she'd already suspected from the earlier call. The woman asks Femenia questions he can't answer, including how much the funeral expenses might cost, and what's going to happen to her brother's canines. She speaks of adopting them.

Afterward, Femenia returns to Phoenix to organize preliminary paperwork on the case, before ending his 13-hour workday.

Early the next morning, a Sunday, the detective collects a security tape from the Circle K at Seventh Street and McDowell Road. It shows Shawn Drake calmly buying cigarettes minutes before he returned home -- the scene of the crime -- about 5:30 a.m.

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