FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      CONTACT: Lt. Kevin Toth

DATE: October 8, 2020                                                               PHONE: 760-839-4444




On 10-04-20 at approximately 11:21 a.m., the Escondido Communications Center received a call of a residential structure fire in the 600 block of Waverly Pl.  Police and Fire units were dispatched to the scene.  When the first police officer arrived on scene, they reported heavy smoke and visible flames coming from the residence.  Fire personnel entered the structure to extinguish the fire and discovered an unresponsive adult male subject inside the residence.  The male was transported to Palomar Medical Center where he later died.

The victim, who’s identity is still being withheld, sustained injuries consistent with being assaulted prior to the fire in the home being set.  Evidence obtained from the scene indicates that the fire was deliberately set.  The precise manner and cause of death are still under investigation by the Medical Examiner’s office.  The specifics of the cause of the fire are still being investigated by the Escondido Police and Fire, with assistance from the ATF.

On 10-07-20, Escondido Police arrested Jose Trinidad Romero (32 from Escondido) after he was stopped in his truck in Escondido.  He was identified as a suspect in the case.  Although investigators believe that Romero and the victim were known to one another, their exact relationship is still under investigation.  Any motives or events leading up to the incident are still under investigation.  Romero was later booked into the Vista Detention Facility for Murder and Arson.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call the police department or the anonymous number listed below.

Please follow the police department via Facebook at www.facebook.com/EscondidoPolice and Twitter and Instagram (@EscondidoPolice).  Text EscondidoPD to 888777 for community alerts from Nixle

To report any suspicious activities in your neighborhood, you may contact the Police Department directly, or you may make an unidentified call on our “Anonymous Tip Line” at (760) 743-TIPS (8477) or via our Web site at police.escondido.org.