Friend recalls Rancho Santa Fe murder victims' final hours; calls Via de la Valle house a 'curse'

Posted at 8:21 PM, Jul 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-02 01:30:22-04

Authorities have publicly identified two women and a teenage girl who died this week in a double murder-suicide at a home in an upscale neighborhood near Rancho Santa Fe Golf Course.

Sayeh Amini, 52, fatally stabbed her niece, 15-year-old Hannah Arya, and family friend Mia Shin, 56, on Monday morning before killing herself in the same manner at the house in the 17100 block of Via de la Valle, according to sheriff's officials.

Their bodies were found by deputies responding to a report of possible child abuse, homicide Lt. Kenneth Nelson said.

Authorities have declined to discuss a possible motive for the killings, but an attorney for the family of the teenager and her aunt told reporters the latter had become delusional and suicidal following the cancer death in April of the girl's father, Michael Arya, who had owned the luxury home where the three died.

Friends of the Arya family identified Shin as a Los Angeles-area real estate broker who had known Michael Arya and his daughter for many years.

Leyla Kaya knew them all; having worked for Hannah's dad for many years.

"He was almost like a father to me. And Hannah grew up in front of our eyes and I babysat her since she was little. She was my "little monkey princess," I'd call her, "Hannah Banana" and she was just a delight."

 Kaya told 10News she planned to join them for some girls' time.

"I was gonna spend the weekend there [at the house which became the scene of the murders and suicide] with them."

But plans changed because of a missed flight from Oregon a couple nights before.

"For some odd reason, God didn't want me there that day," said Kaya. "So I ended up... Hannah's friend's flight was delayed so Mia called me and said, 'Don't worry, I'm gonna pick up Hannah. Why don't we meet at the same place as last time, Cafe Gratitude. We'll have dinner and wait for Hannah's friend to come in.'"

They had a nice evening and Kaya went home that night; planning to join them later in the weekend.

"I kinda got flaky on Sunday to go. I wasn't feeling well and I told Mia on Saturday, 'I don't know what it is. I don't want to go. It scares me to go.' I swear to God. Feels like that house is almost like a tragedy; a curse."