A 32-year-old Palm Desert woman was charged with murder and torture Tuesday stemming from the discovery of a body inside a trash bin in a gated La Quinta neighborhood.
The murder charge against Cristina Noelle Canimo includes a special circumstance allegation of torture during the commission of a murder, making her eligible for the death penalty if the District Attorney’s Office opts to pursue it.
Canimo also faces a sentencing enhancement of using a weapon during a felony, although the weapon she allegedly used was not immediately clear.
Canimo was arrested at 3 a.m. Friday, the day after a body — described only as that of a male — was found inside a trash bin in the 43500 block of east Parkway Esplanade, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff’s officials did not say how the person died.
Canimo was arrested on the same street where the body was found, jail records show.
Neighbors told KESQ that the house where the body was located may have been used as an senior care facility, but sheriff’s officials have not confirmed that report.
The name of the victim was being withheld pending family notification.
Canimo is being held in the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning in lieu of $1 million bail.