FA­TAL CRUSH

Po­lice say a man’s in­fat­u­a­tion with a co­worker led to her fi­ancé’s mur­der

People (USA) - - CONTENTS - By JOHNNY DODD and CHRIS­TINE PELISEK

They were all friends—kevin Prasad, Than­dar Seinn and Mark Man­gac­cat— col­leagues in the crowded ter­mi­nals of San Fran­cisco In­ter­na­tional Air­port, where Prasad had worked for a pri­vate se­cu­rity firm, Man­gac­cat in avi­a­tion-sup­port ser­vices and Seinn as a cus­tomer-ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tive. Seinn and Man­gac­cat were en­gaged and had a lit­tle girl to­gether, but that never seemed to de­ter Prasad from ask­ing Seinn to spend time with him out­side work. “It was just a crush,” re­calls Seinn. “He’d say things like, ‘Don’t you want to go out with me?’ Mark knew about it, but nei­ther one of us paid too much at­ten­tion to it.”

Trag­i­cally, it may be that Prasad’s feel­ings for

Seinn were far darker—and dead­lier—than an in­no­cent crush. On April 25, just days be­fore the cou­ple were sched­uled to move to Las Ve­gas, where they planned to marry, Man­gac­cat, 31, picked Seinn up af­ter her last shift at the air­port. As he backed his car into the garage of their Daly City, Calif., home, a masked gun­man ap­proached and fired mul­ti­ple times through the driver’s-side win­dow, killing Man­gac­cat in­stantly. The fol­low­ing day Prasad, 32—along with al­leged get­away driver Dono­van Matthew Rivera, 26—was ar­rested. Both have been charged with first­de­gree mur­der. They pleaded not guilty and are be­ing held with­out bail. “This was be­yond in­fat­u­a­tion,” says San Ma­teo County District At­tor­ney Steve Wagstaffe. “He was ob­sessed with her. And once he re­al­ized she was about to move hun­dreds of miles away, he de­cided to carry out his plan to bump her boyfriend out of the way.” For Seinn, who es­caped in­jury in the at­tack, the idea that her co­worker killed her fi­ancé is in­com­pre­hen­si­ble. “Mark is gone, and he was killed for no rea­son,” she says. “I can’t believe it hap­pened.

I can’t trust peo­ple any­more.”

But those who grew up with Prasad say there had long been hints of trou­ble be­low the sur­face. His former class­mates at Natomas High School in Sacra­mento, where Prasad was voted “Most Un­for­get­table” dur­ing his se­nior year in 2004, de­scribe him as “smart,” “dorky” and “des­per­ate to fit in.” Some re­call he had a habit of be­com­ing in­fat­u­ated with girls at the school that made them un­com­fort­able. “He was friendly but bizarre,” re­calls Me­gan Par­ent, who in­sists she “wasn’t sur­prised” when she learned about his al­leged role in Man­gac­cat’s mur­der. “He al­ways had a lit­tle crush on me, and when I told him I didn’t feel that way, he got re­ally up­set, brought me some kind of cos­tume-jew­elry neck­lace and wrote me a let­ter say­ing we were meant to be to­gether and I was go­ing against God’s plan by re­ject­ing him.”

By the time Prasad met Seinn and Man­gac­cat at San Fran­cisco In­ter­na­tional in 2014, the cou­ple were al­ready dat­ing, but that didn’t stop Prasad from ask­ing Seinn to go out with him. Nor did the birth of Seinn and Man­gac­cat’s daugh­ter in 2015. “He could be a lit­tle ag­gres­sive,” Seinn says of Prasad. “But I work in cus­tomer ser­vice, so I know how to deal with peo­ple like that. I’d tell him, ‘I’m a mother. I’ve got a fam­ily.’ ”

The young cou­ple’s de­ci­sion to re­lo­cate to Ve­gas (“They wanted to start a new life,” says Man- gac­cat’s mother, Myrna) pushed Prasad over the edge, in­ves­ti­ga­tors say. “As soon as he heard, he came up to me at work and started say­ing, ‘Why are you leav­ing? Don’t go,’ ” re­calls Seinn. Homi­cide de­tec­tives were ini­tially stumped over why some­one would mur­der Man­gac­cat. “Al­most as an af­ter­thought [Seinn] said, ‘There is a fel­low at work who has had an in­ter­est in me, but he would never do that,’ ” says Wagstaffe. “It ul­ti­mately led to get­ting to our two sus­pects.”

As Seinn grap­ples with the “empti­ness” of los­ing the man she loved, she re­mains fo­cused on keep­ing his mem­ory alive for their daugh­ter. “Ev­ery night when we go to sleep,” says Seinn, “she looks at his pic­ture and says, ‘Good­night, Daddy. Sweet dreams, Daddy.’ ”

‘I WISH IT WAS A BAD DREAM. MARK SHOULD BE HERE’ —THAN­DAR SEINN

WORK­PLACE DRAMA Prasad be­came fix­ated on Seinn while both worked at San Fran­cisco In­ter­na­tional. “This wasn’t puppy love,” says San Ma­teo County D.A. Wagstaffe. “He was ob­sessed.”

LOVE & JEAL­OUSY Prasad (above) des­per­ately wanted the re­la­tion­ship Seinn and Man­gac­cat (right) had.

A QUIET NEIGH­BOR­HOOD, A DEADLY AT­TACK Pros­e­cu­tors have yet to de­cide if they’ll ask for the death penalty for Prasad and Rivera (above), whom po­lice say am­bushed Man­gac­cat while he and Seinn were back­ing into the garage of their Daly City, Calif., home (above).

“I can’t believe he’s gone,” says Seinn (with Man­gac­cat and their daugh­ter).

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