An Indio man was in custody Monday for allegedly murdering his girlfriend, after a mobile home blaze in Thermal sparked an investigation that led to the discovery of a woman’s body about a mile from the fire scene.
The fire was reported at 11:41 a.m. Saturday in the 83500 block of Avenue 60, said Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Raymond Huskey. Deputies found the mobile home fully engulfed in flames.
No one was inside the mobile home, but “information obtained from witnesses indicated that a domestic violence incident may have occurred between an adult female resident and her boyfriend before the home was set on fire,” Huskey said.
Deputies located the boyfriend at 12:45 p.m. in the 51700 block of Calle Torres Orduno in Coachella, the sergeant said. Christian Pacheco of Indio, 22, was arrested and later booked on suspicion of murder. He was being held at the Riverside County jail in Indio without bail.
County coroners were withholding the woman’s name, but family members created a GoFundMe page Monday to pay for funeral expenses, and identified her as Elilia Valdez.
“Last Friday our dear sister Elilia Valdez’ life was taken from her in an act of senseless and horrific violent crime,” the page reads. “Local authorities of the Coachella Valley found her body in a remote area on Saturday after the man that took her life burned her and her children’s belongings. It has been such a sudden and tragic loss for our family.”
Homicide investigators located the victim at 5:20 p.m. in the area of 63700 Monroe Street in Thermal, Huskey said.
Pacheco is due to appear in court Wednesday, according to jail records.
Those seeking to donate to the family can visit gofundme.com/s926hv-funeral-fund.
— City News Service
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