SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – The husband of a 26-year-old woman who was found dead inside her Santa Ana apartment Friday morning is being detained as the possible suspect in her murder, police said Friday.
The victim — now identified as Maria Teresa Murillo Rojas — was discovered by her family at an apartment in the 1000 block of South Standard Avenue at about 7 a.m., according to Santa Ana police.
Authorities said the woman’s death appeared to be a homicide, but did not immediately disclose a motive or cause of death.
Police said when they tried to talk to the victim’s husband at a second location, the man — now identified as 25-year-old Fernando Jaramillo Llamas –fled.
Llamas led them on a pursuit up the northbound 5 Freeway. The pursuit ended around 11:30 a.m. when the man crashed his car at the intersection of South Grand Avenue and Dyer Road in Santa Ana. He tried to run from the crash scene, but was captured. He was seen being driven away in the back of a patrol car.
Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told CBS2 investigators did not say if there was a history of domestic violence but that the husband was believed to also be a resident of the apartment. Given the fact that Llamas fled both in his car and on foot when police approached, the man is being considered a suspect in the woman’s death. Late Friday, officials did say Llamas had a previous domestic arrest.
Said Bertagna, “Our hope is he will tell us what happened.”
Bertagna disclosed that detectives were looking at a second possible crime scene, in the 500 block of East Alton Avenue, that may be connected to the woman’s killing.
“They’re investigating what occurred there, and does it relate to the incident here,” Bertagna said.
Later Friday, detectives told CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Jake Reiner that the woman’s husband worked or previously worked at the East Alton location (Aluminum Precision Metals) and that he was threatening to take his own life for almost two hours. A co-worker was able to talk him out of taking his own life and co-workers called 911, touching off the chase.
The chase went from Santa Ana to Anaheim and back to Santa Ana.
Friday evening, authorities said the victim and suspect lived in the apartment with their 1-year-old daughter and the decedent’s extended family.
Authorities said the suspect was out on bail for what was described as “an on-going criminal proceeding.”
After being interviewed, Llamas was booked for murder, violation of a domestic violence court order and child endangerment.