An ex-con suspected of killing an acquaintance and torching the victim’s remains was being held Tuesday in lieu of $1 million bail.

Mario Salvador Aleja Renteria, 29, was arrested and booked Monday into the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of murder.

According to Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Ben Ramirez, Renteria was identified as the alleged perpetrator within an hour of detectives’ investigation into the death of the victim, who had been dumped in a vehicle set alight near the intersection of Monolith Trail and Monument Parkway.

County firefighters discovered the smoldering remains after extinguishing the blaze about 5:50 p.m.

Before detectives could begin processing evidence at the scene, they received reports of an assault in the 21000 block of Magnolia Avenue in Lakeland Village involving an individual possibly connected to the vehicle fire, Ramirez said.

According to the sergeant, deputies went to the location and, with the help of a sheriff’s helicopter crew, tracked down Renteria driving eastbound. He was stopped by patrolmen on Ethanac Road in Menifee and detained without any trouble.

The person whom he was allegedly assaulting was not identified.

Ramirez said there were “several crime scenes,” and after collecting evidence and questioning Renteria, the probationer was jailed.

No information was disclosed regarding the identity of the homicide victim or a possible motive.

According to court records, Renteria has prior convictions for attempted carjacking and domestic abuse.

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