Escondido, CA

Man arrested in double homicide

A man was arrested last week in the double homicide of two sisters who were found in separate locations Thursday. They were Escondido residents.
The victims in Thursday’s murders were identified as Veronica Soto Ortega, 30 and Ana Gabriela Soto, 26, both residents of Escondido. The victims were sisters and resided together at the address in the 500 block of W. 11th Ave, in the City of Escondido.
Veronica’s body was located at the residence. Ana’s body was located inside the SUV in the area of Kauana Loa Drive & Country Club Drive, just outside of Escondido city limits. The manner and cause of deaths for both sisters are still under investigation by the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office, but both sustained traumatic injuries.
The suspect arrested on August 9, Juan Carlos Ortega, 33 was determined to be the estranged husband of Veronica Soto Ortega. He was arrested about 14 hours after the discovery of the bodies. He was arrested at his workplace in Carlsbad.
Shortly before 4:30 a.m. Thursday, firefighters extinguishing a blaze engulfing a parked white SUV at the corner of Country Club and Kauana Loa drives in the unincorporated Harmony Grove area discovered the body of 26-year- old Ana Soto inside the vehicle, said a spokesman for the Escondido Police Department.
Detectives traced the charred SUV to its registered owner’s residence about three miles east, in the 500 block of West 11th Avenue, near South Centre City Parkway.
There officers discovered the body of Veronica Soto Ortega. Two children found sleeping unharmed in the house were taken into protective custody and later turned over to family members, Toth said.
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
Ortega was booked into Vista Jail on suspicion of arson and two counts of murder. He was arraigned on Monday.

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