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Lethal California hearth was began to cowl up a homicide: police



Victor Serriteno and Priscilla Castro. (Photographs by way of Vacaville and Oakland police departments)

  • A hearth that killed two folks final 12 months was deliberately set to cowl up a homicide, investigators have revealed.
  • Police discovered the burned physique of 32-year-old lacking particular person Priscilla Castro near the place the fireplace was began.
  • Victor Serriteno, who was arrested in September and accused of killing Castro, now faces extra fees of arson and homicide.

A California hearth that killed two folks final 12 months was deliberately set to cowl up a homicide, investigators revealed in a press briefing.

The Markley Hearth was began in Northern California’s Solano County on August 18, 2020 close to the place police discovered the burned physique of 32-year-old lacking particular person Priscilla Castro.

Authorities had beforehand mentioned Castro was reported lacking after she went on a date with Victor Serriteno two days earlier than the fireplace. She was not seen once more.

“Primarily based on an in depth, eight-month investigation, we imagine Serriteno intentionally set the Markley Hearth in an try to hide his crime,” Tom Ferrara, the Solano County Sheriff, mentioned in a briefing Wednesday.

Serriteno, who was arrested in September and accused of killing Castro, now faces extra fees of arson and the murders of each males – 82-year-old Douglas Mai and 64-year outdated Leon “James” Bone – who died of their properties on account of the fireplace.

The Markley Hearth later merged with a sequence of different fires to kind the LNU Lightning Complicated, one of many largest wildfires within the state’s historical past, in response to the California Division of Forestry and Hearth Safety.

The opposite fires have been believed to have been sparked after almost 11 000 lightning strikes hit the northern a part of the state because it endured a historic heatwave

Collectively, the fireplace complicated scorched over 363 000 acres throughout California’s famed wine nation and burned down virtually 1 500 constructions after forcing the evacuation of tens of 1000’s of residents.

The huge inferno tore by means of the world north of San Francisco for 2 months and killed six folks.



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