SYLMAR ( — A Northern California man faces a murder charge Monday in the death of a neighbor, who was stabbed to death and found in a burning car in Sylmar.

Carlo Giuliano Cresci, 23, of Richmond, was taken into custody late last week in the East Bay city and brought back to Los Angeles, where he was booked on suspicion of murder, Los Angeles police Lt. Paul Vernon said.

Cresci was charged with one count of willful, deliberate and premeditated murder and one count of arson causing great bodily injury, with a knife-use allegation. He was being held on $1 million bail, according to the sheriff’s department.

Police say Cresci killed 26-year-old Jose Martinez, whose body was found about 7:30 p.m. May 24 in the front seat of a burning 1993 Lexus on a dead-end section of Harding Street, near Foothill Boulevard.

Detectives found “an intact restaurant receipt that survived the car fire,” Vernon said. The receipt led detectives to a restaurant where security video showed Martinez with Cresci and Cresci’s grandparents, who live in Sylmar, he said.

“The grandparents were the local connection that brought Martinez and Cresci all the way from Richmond, where both men lived separately, across the street from each other,” Vernon said.

A forensic search of Martinez’s cell phone, which also survived the fire, identified Cresci as one of the victim’s contacts, Vernon said.

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