Photo via [Public Domain] Wikimedia Commons
Photo via [Public Domain] Wikimedia Commons

A 29-year-old man was charged Friday with killing his mother, whose body was found in La Habra.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office also filed a special circumstances allegation of murder for financial gain against Gabriel Antonio Espinoza, which would make him eligible for the death penalty. The District Attorney’s Office will decide later whether it will seek the death penalty.

The body of Espinoza’s 58-year-old mother, Emma Posadas-Espinoza, 58, was found about 4:30 a.m on July 21 covered in leaves and plants behind a carport in the 900 block of South Idaho Street by a man walking his dog, according to the La Habra Police Department.

Posadas-Espinoza was found only wearing underwear and had no initial signs of trauma, said La Habra police Sgt. Dave Crivelli. Police suspect she died days before her discovery.

Autopsy results determined Posadas-Espinoza, a licensed clinical social worker who lived in Lompoc, died of asphyxiation.

Police identified her son as a suspect following an investigation that included search warrants and court orders. La Habra police detectives arrested Espinoza Tuesday at his home in Santa Maria.

—City News Service

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