Although friends and family have come forward about the Boise man who died in an apparent murder/suicide, virtually nothing has been said about the woman accused of killing him.
Ryan Nettleton wants to rectify that. He was married to Michelle Nettleton for three and a half years and lived with her in Idaho until they separated last summer and Ryan moved to Washington state with the couple’s 3-year-old son.
“Legally speaking, she was still married to me” when she died, he said Friday. He recently filed for divorce in a Washington court, but the marriage had not yet been legally dissolved.
“She was a good mother and a good woman, but something was missing,” he said. “She was a very caring, very loving person, and very intelligent.”
Michelle Nettleton, 32, and Mazen Al-Qaisi, 24, were found dead in their home on Glen Ellyn Street Sunday night. Police said Nettleton apparently shot Al-Qaisi, then herself, but the deaths are still under investigation. Investigators have not said how long the couple had been dead, but Al-Qaisi was last seen the evening of April 29.
Al-Qaisi and Michelle Nettleton held a wedding ceremony in a Boise mosque in February and considered themselves husband and wife, Al-Qaisi’s friends and family said.
“They got married in a mosque and they start saving to have a proper wedding and register their marriage, “ Al-Qaisi’s uncle, Azad Peshderi , said in an email.
Ryan Nettleton said his marriage to Michelle broke up after she fell in love with Al-Qaisi.
The Nettletons got married in the Cathedral of the Rockies in Boise in November 2011, he said. He declined to disclose her maiden name in deference to her parents, who live in the Treasure Valley and have asked to keep their names out of the news.
The family is devastated by Michelle’s death, he said.
Michelle Nettleton reportedly converted to Islam, but Ryan Nettleton said that when he met her she was “a good Christian woman” who was well-versed in the Bible.
Although she didn’t attend college, Michelle loved to learn and was especially interested in history and Europe. She wanted to travel, he said, and she was “pretty gung ho about being a stay-at-home mom.”
Despite their pending divorce and her devotion to Al-Qaisi, Nettleton said he had held out hope that Michelle would once again be an active mother to their son and that he and she might even reunite: “I still loved her.”
So it was a stunning blow when Boise police called him earlier this week to notify him that she had died, and how.
“It’s a real shame,” he said. “Our son is going to grow up not knowing his mother.”
Kristin Rodine: 208-377-6447