NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                CONTACT: Lt. Kevin Toth

DATE: 08-10-18                                                                                     PHONE: 760-839-4444

ESCONDIDO POLICE DEPARTMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On 08-09-18, at approximately 0417 hours, the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Department was dispatched to a car fire in the area of Kauana Loa Dr and Country Club Dr.  This location is an unincorporated portion of the county just outside the city limits of Escondido.  After extinguishing the fire, firefighters discovered a deceased person inside the white SUV.  The Fire Department contacted the San Diego Sheriff’s Department who responded to the scene.  Sheriff deputies confirmed that there was a deceased adult female victim inside of the SUV.  The SUV was registered to a residence in the City of Escondido.

Escondido Police officers responded to the SUV owner’s address in the 500 block of W. 11th Ave.  Officers discovered a second deceased adult female victim inside of that residence.  Officers also located two young children asleep inside the residence.  The children were not harmed and were taken into protective custody.  The two scenes were determined to be connected and the Escondido Police Department assumed investigation of both incidents.  Both victims sustained traumatic injuries.  The identities of the two victims are not being released pending notifications to family.

At approximately 2030 hours, Escondido Police detectives arrested Juan Carlos Ortega (33) as a result of the investigation.  Although it is believed that there is a connection between the suspect and the two victims, the extent of that connection, any potential motives, and the events leading up to the deaths are still under investigation.  Ortega was later booked into the Vista Detention facility on two counts of PC 187(a) Murder and one count of PC 451 Arson.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to call the Escondido Police at 760-839-4722, leave an anonymous tip at 760-743-TIPS (8477), or via our Website at police.escondido.org.

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