[UPDATED with Charges:] Maria Isabel Cerrillo, OC Homicide No. 46: Ex-Boyfriend Luis Antonio Garcia Morales Held in Stabbing
See Update Nos. 1-2 on police seeking the deceased woman's ex-boyfriend as a "person of interest" in the case and then arresting him for the murder.
The victim stabbed multiple times was later identified as Maria Isabel Cerrillo, a 21-year-old resident of Santa Ana but not that neighborhood, according to police, who do not believe at this point the slaying was gang-related.
Roman Nafarrate, OC Homicide No. 45: Shot to Death in Anacrime Alley
Macaria Finefield, OC Homicide No. 44: Convicted Fatal Stabber is Fatally Stabbed
Robert Jay Liken, OC Homicide No. 32: Parolee is Suspected Stabber
Calls came in to police around 7:45 p.m., and officers on the scene reported Cerrillo had been stabbed multiple times, either there or her body was brought there.
That is among the holes the police department is hoping will be filled by witnesses or people who knew the victim. Anyone with information is urged to call SAPD at 714.245.8665 or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855.847.6227 or visit occrimestoppers.org. Tips can be left anonymously.
View Larger Map
UPDATE NO. 1, NOV. 15, 8:42 A.M.: The Santa Ana Police Department is seeking Luis Antonio Garcia Morales, 24, of Santa Ana, for questioning as a "person of interest" in the fatal stabbing of Maria Cerrillo.
But cops have not been able to find the deceased woman's former boyfriend, who reportedly told his employer Wednesday he had to leave for Mexico for a family emergency.
|Courtesy of SAPD|
|Luis Antonio Garcia Morales|
Cerrillo's family is adamant Morales lured the woman to his home, stabbed her to death and dumped her body in the nearby alley, police say.
He is described as Hispanic, 5-foot-8, 180 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information on Morales' whereabouts is asked to call police at 714.245.8665.
UPDATE NO. 2, NOV. 16, 8:16 A.M.: Luis Antonio Garcia Morales has been arrested for the murder of Maria Isabel Cerrillo.
|Courtesy of SAPD|
|Luis Antonio Garcia Morales is booked.|
Police discovered Morales sold his 1992 Toyota Camry Wednesday night to a Garden Grove resident, something investigators believe was done to raise cash to flee to Mexico.
Morales is a cook with no gang ties, but homicide detectives are working on the theory that he laid in wait and stabbed Cerrillo multiple times in the abdomen before leaving her body in an alley because she had spurned him romantically.
The Camry has been recovered, the murder weapon has not.
UPDATE NO. 3, NOV. 19, 10:19 A.M.: Luis Antonio Garcia Morales has learned the charges against him (one felony count of special circumstance murder by lying in wait with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon) and the maximum punishment he faces with a conviction (life in state prison without the possibility of parole).
He'll get to make his first plea today, as the Orange County District Attorney's office just announced Morales had a 10 a.m. arraignment in the Central Jail in Santa Ana.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Jim Mendelson of the Homicide Unit drew the straw to prosecute the case.
Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!