The son of a couple who died in a fire that appeared to have been intentionally set at their Diamond Bar home was in custody Tuesday and facing possible murder charges, authorities said.
Ryan Michael Venti, 33, was arrested about 8 p.m. Monday and was booked on suspicion of murder, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported. He was being held on $2 million bail.
Detectives had asked the public to help them find Venti in connection with the house fire in which his parents, Linda Venti, 66, and John Venti, 75, were found dead.
The blaze was reported about 5 a.m. Friday in the 3600 block of Crooked Creek Drive, and it took firefighters about 40 minutes to knock down the flames. The badly burned bodies of the two victims were found in a bedroom, along with the charred remains of a dog.
Sheriff’s Lt. John Corina said investigators were working to determine if the victims were killed before the fire.
Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Tony Imbrenda said there were no working smoke detectors inside the home.
On Monday night, residents in the neighborhood “called 911 and reported seeing suspect Ryan Venti at the home of his parents on Crooked Creek Drive,” a sheriff’s statement said.
“Deputies responded and were able to take the suspect into custody,” the statement said. “From the condition of the suspect it appears that he (had) been hiding in the surrounding hills and brush in an attempt to avoid capture.”
A motive for the crime was not known, the sheriff’s department reported.
Anyone with information about the case was urged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers by dialing (800) 222-8477.