WESTMINSTER (CBSLA.com) – A man has been arrested on murder charges in the deaths of two women whose bodies were found in Newport Beach following a New Year’s Day fire at a Westminster home owned by one of the victims.
Christopher Ireland, 37, of Huntington Beach was taken into custody Monday morning on two counts of murder in the deaths of 59-year-old Yolanda Holtrey of Westminster, and her friend, a 49-year-old Huntington Beach woman whose name has been released pending next of kin notification.
According to the Westminster Police Department, the incident unfolded at 5:30 a.m. Sunday when officers and Orange County Fire Authority crews responded to a suspicious fire at Holtrey’s home in the 5000 block of Northwestern Way.
Investigators with OCFA and the WPD were unable to locate Holtrey or her friend. Eventually, they began a homicide investigation. On Monday morning, they found the missing women’s bodies in the city of Newport Beach.
It was not immediately clear when Ireland was arrested.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is assisting with the investigation, along with the Orange County Coroner’s Office.
Police did not disclose a possible motive for the murders or the potential link between Ireland and the victims.