POMONA (CBSLA) – A 33-year-old man was charged Wednesday with murdering his parents, who were found dead along with their dog after a fire last week at their Diamond Bar home.
Ryan Michael Venti was ordered held without bail while awaiting arraignment Dec. 6 in a Pomona courtroom on two counts of murder stemming from the deaths of his mother, Linda, 68, and his father, John, 74, who were found Oct. 30 burned in the home they shared with him in the 3600 block of Crooked Creek Drive.
Venti is charged with one count each of arson of an inhabited structure or property and cruelty to an animal.
The murder charges include the special circumstance allegation of multiple murders.
Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against Venti, who was arrested about 8 p.m. Monday by Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators.
The badly burned bodies of Venti’s parents were found in a bedroom, along with the charred remains of their dog, after the blaze, authorities said.
It took firefighters about 40 minutes to knock down the flames. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. John Corina said earlier this week that investigators were working to determine if the victims were killed before the fire. Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Tony Imbrenda said there were no working smoke detectors inside the home.
On Monday night, residents in the neighborhood “called 911 and reported seeing suspect Ryan Venti at the home of his parents on Crooked Creek Drive,” according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Department.
“Deputies responded and were able to take the suspect into custody,” the statement said. “From the condition of the suspect it appears that he (had) been hiding in the surrounding hills and brush in an attempt to avoid capture.”
A motive for the crime was not known, according to the sheriff’s department.
Anyone with information about the case was urged to contact the sheriff’s department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers by dialing 800-222-8477.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)