Ex-wife says Iraq changed Marine arrested for murder

Posted at 11:23 PM, Sep 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-14 13:10:02-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va (WTVR)- A toxic relationship, that's how the ex-wife of a man accused of killing his girlfriend describes the pair.

Samantha O'Quinn, 28, was found in a wooded area behind her Henrico apartment Thursday morning.

A short time later, 31-year-old Blake Bryant was arrested and charged with first degree murder. Bryant's ex-wife says she married the young Marine in 2001, when he was just out of Boot Camp.

Shortly after the birth of their first child in 2002, Bryant deployed to a war zone in Iraq for 11 months. His ex-wife said, he returned a changed man.

They had two children by 2009, and were divorced. The former couple remained friends because of the children, and in the past two years, the ex-wife said Bryant began seeing O'Quinn.

She added that in recent weeks both had confided in her that the relationship was on edge.

Police said Bryant shared an apartment at Kings Crossing with O’Quin’s one-year-old daughter. The toddler was removed from the home unharmed.

“Detectives are still working to put the pieces of this puzzle together trying to determine how long the child may have been left alone,” Henrico Police Lt. Linda Toney said.

According to court documents, Bryant is paying child support for two other children. CBS 6 News has learned he was John Marshall High School graduate.

Henrico Police were able to make a quick arrest in this case.

“This was fortunate situation where the suspect was not far from the scene. We were able to speak with him. He was a person of interest on that day. This actually occurred that she was discovered,” Toney said.

Detectives won’t release how the victim died or what led up to the attack and the search warrant in this case has been sealed.

Bryant heads back to Henrico’s Juvenile and Domestic Relations court on Nov. 1 at 10 a.m