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Police arrest two in 2020 Mountain Home homicide case

Megan Marie James and Laura Denise Hamilton
Posted at 2:35 PM, Jun 05, 2024

MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho — On May 31, 2024, officers with the Elmore County Sheriff's Office received a report related to a possible homicide that took place in the area almost 4 years ago.

ECSO Detectives were able to locate a burial site at a remote location in Owyhee County after collecting information where they discovered the remains of the reported victim.

With help from the Owyhee County Sheriff’s Office, Canyon County Sheriff’s Office Forensics Team, and Nampa Police Department Forensics Team, investigators were able to establish probable cause to arrest 3 people in connection with the suspected homicide.

On Sunday, June 2, 2024, law enforcement was dispatched to the 900 block of W 4th North St in Mountain Home, believing two of the suspects to be in this residence. When officers arrived at the residence, there was a brief standoff between the subjects. After around 2 hours, one of the suspects surrendered themselves to officers on the scene. The second suspect was found dead inside the house from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Officers took the third suspect into custody without incident later that night.

Now, Megan Marie James and Laura Denise Hamilton, both of Mountain Home, have been booked into the Elmore County Jail. Both are facing charges of first-degree murder, failure to report a death, kidnapping, and exploitation of a vulnerable adult. The two were arraigned in Elmore County on Monday, June 3, 2024.

Both James and Hamilton are being held on a $5,000,000 bond.

Both of the living suspects have preliminary hearings set for 2 pm on Friday, June 14, 2024. According to court filings, the alleged murder took place on August 1, 2020.

Out of respect for the family, the name of the victim has not been released at this time. This investigation is still underway.