By Heather Janssen

RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) – A 26-year-old man has been arrested after the woman he was dating was found dead inside her Rancho Cordova home.

Nicholas Brynelson’s booking photo. (credit: Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office)

Neighbors said they watched cops cuff 26-year-old Nicholas Brynelson in this driveway Wednesday night. Neighbors told CBS13 this was absolutely shocking event for this community. Many in the community are still coping with a tragedy happening so close to home.

The incident happened at a home along Manzanola Way on Wednesday. According to Rancho Cordova police, a man in his 20s called 911 just before 5 p.m., telling dispatchers that his girlfriend was unresponsive and had been in a physical altercation earlier in the day.

Responding officers found the unresponsive woman with apparent trauma to her body and began CPR. She was pronounced dead by medics at the scene.

On Thursday, police announced that Brynelson had been arrested in connection to the incident. Brynelson is facing a homicide charge. He has been booked into Sacramento County Jail.

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Mike Hastie heard the crime unfold from just next door at his home on Manzanola Way.

“I did hear some commotion in the house,” said Hastie. “Him cussing and right after that police pulled up. He had blood on his nose and blood on his hands.”

Hastie watched as Brynelson showed himself to deputies. The 26-year-old supposedly told police things got physical between them before his girlfriend was found dead. Now Hastie and many other neighbors are still processing all they witnessed.

“We all grieved and talked about it,” Hastie said. “Luckily he was apprehended quickly.”

These neighbors say after a couple of years of living in a brand new community, no one saw it coming. Sacramento Sheriff’s deputies hadn’t been called out to the home for any reason over the last year.

“They were pretty quiet and kept to themselves,” said Mitchell Talley, who lives down the street from the couple. “The way they looked you couldn’t tell they were a couple.”

Though nothing seemed suspicious beforehand, CBS13 was told there was always something about Brynelson that caught the neighborhood’s attention.

“When I saw him outside, I was wary to speak to him,” said Talley. “He gave me the creeps a little bit.”

The woman’s identity has not yet been released, but police say she was in her 50s.

Heather Janssen


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