People were behaving exceedingly badly this month and it wasn’t due to the full moon, was there a full moon?
North Escondido woman dead, husband flees scene, later discovered dead by suicide
(Editor’s Note: Juan Garcia was found dead by police at his North Broadway home late Wednesday, Dec. 10. San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies entering the home to clear it of clues in order to allow Teresa Ortiz’s family to return, discovered Garcia’s body. An autopsy determined it was suicide, homicide detective Ken Nelson said.)
Only the shadow knows. However, Teresa Ortiz, 46, was found gravely injured at her home in the 3000 block of North Broadway, near Sylvan Lane, home around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. Her estranged husband, Juan Garcia aka Jose Luis Paredes aka Jose Moreno, 50, was nowhere to be found.
San Diego Sheriff’s office Lt. Ken Nelson, a homicide investigator, said family members discovered Ortiz when they went to the home in unincorporated Escondido just east of interstate 15 to take her to an event.
Garcia was there, too, but not for long. He lived in a trailer on the rural property. However, he was in the home as family members arrived, then left in a hurry in a faded red Ford Explorer with brown mud-flaps, according to deputies. that truck later was found abandoned at a nearby business.
Ortiz was taken to a hospital, but later died. Deputies are looking for Garcia et al who is believed to be armed and dangerous. They said he was believed to have a large semi-automatic handgun and headed to Mexico. He was wearing a blue long-sleeve shirt, blue denim shorts, long white socks and white tennis shoes.
Sheriff’s deputies asked anyone with information to call the Homicide Detail at (858) 974-2321, or after hours at (858) 565-5200. Those who wish to remain anonymous can also call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.
13-year-old human trafficking victim rescued at Mt. Vernon Inn
A 13-year-old human trafficking victim forced into prostitution was rescued from an Escondido motel, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department on Friday, Dec. 4.
The Fresno Police Department’s Vice Unit discovered suspects involved in the Fresno-based operation were in San Diego, prostituting the 13-year-old girl.
Fresno investigators found adds featuring the girl posted to a social media website that caters to prostitution and escort-related services, officials said in a release Friday.
They alerted the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force members, who began their search for the girl. Then, they deployed an undercover investigation to rescue her.
Task force officers in plain clothes rescued the girl on Dec. 1 from the Mt. Vernon Inn at 501 W. Mission Avenue in Escondido, where she had been for several days, they said. Officers also found an 18-year-old woman there and learned she was another victim of human trafficking.
Timothy Wiggans, a 24-year-old Fresno resident, and a 17-year-old male minor were arrested suspicion of being human trafficking facilitators. The 13-year-old girl has been reunited with her family in Fresno, police there said.
Escondido Police killer sentenced to life in prison
A Murrieta man found guilty of killing his wife, an Escondido police officer, will serve 48 years to life in prison.
Freddy Perez-Rodas, 27, was sentenced Friday, Dec. 4 in Riverside County Superior Court in the July 23, 2014, death of 25-year-old Escondido Police officer Laura Perez. On Oct. 7 2015, a jury found Rodas guilty of second-degree murder and arson in her death.
Rodas fatally shot Perez during an argument in their Murrieta home. Perez Rodas called 911 to report a fire at his Murrieta home and told dispatchers that his wife might still be inside.
Murrieta fire personnel determined that the blaze had been intentionally set and police found that Laura Perez was not in the home and also had not been present at a meeting that afternoon at the Escondido Police Department – something authorities at the department said was completely out of character for her.
A subsequent investigation led Murrieta police detectives to a storage unit in Moreno Valley which had been rented by Perez Rodas. Inside they found the victim’s body, two loaded handguns, about $100,000 cash, passports, and a pick and shovel. He was questioned and arrested.
The couple’s then 4-year-old daughter was not harmed and was placed in the care of extended family. Perez had worked as an officer for nine months prior to her death.
A coroner’s autopsy revealed the victim had been shot three times, including once at very close range in the back.
Judge John Monterosso gave Perez Rodas the maximum sentence possible of 48 years to life – 15 years to life for second-degree murder, 25 years to life for the use of a firearm enhancement, and eight years in prison for the arson. As he rendered the sentence, the judge called the actions of Perez Rodas “callous and cold.”
Monterosso also talked about Perez Rodas’ testimony during the trial. The judge said he believed the defendant showed no remorse and described his testimony about what happened as “an arrogant justification.”
During the sentencing hearing, Escondido police Capt. Michael Loarie addressed the court and said Laura Perez was “destined for greatness” with the department.
Escondido Union School trustee restrained temporarily by court order
Was it politics, perception or intent? Any way one cuts it, Escondido Union School District Superintendent Luis Rankins-Ibarra filed a workplace violence restraining order against school board trustee Jose Fragozo.
Why? The superintendent alleged Fragozo has engaged in intimidation and threats against him and other district administrators.
The temporary order is effective through Dec. 18, when Superior Court of San Diego County Judge Richard S. Whitney will decide whether to make it permanent. It bars Fragozo from stepping onto any school district property or attending board meetings at the district’s administration building, 2310 Aldergrove Ave.
Helping make the temporary order stick was the fact that three other district executives joined Rankins-Ibarra in the complaint.
Saying he was blindsided, Fragozo called the allegations completely false. Elected to a four-year term in 2012, he is now the board’s vice president and said he was in line to become the district’s first Latino board president next week, when trustees will meet to reorganize job duties.
Rankins-Ibarra filed a 21-page complaint saying Fragozo had threatened district executives almost the day one after Rankins-Ibarra assumed the superintendent’s job on July 1, 2014.
The complaint says Fragozo made threats against the superintendent’s life, tried to interfere with district business, and barged into management meetings. In recent months, Rankins-Ibarra said, he and other district executives have had to be escorted to their cars after late board meetings because they fear for their lives.
Under the temporary order, Fragozo may attend board meetings, but not in person. The district is looking at “telephonic” access where he can ask questions and make statements, or even Skype, Rankins-Ibarra said.
The court order requires Fragozo to stay at least 100 yards away from Rankins-Ibarra and three other district employees, including their homes and vehicles that they drive. These executives included Kevin Rubow, assistant superintendent of human resources; Leila Sackfield, deputy superintendent of education services; and Kelly Prins, assistant superintendent of student support services.
Valley Center holistic healer goes on trial
Embattled Valley Center holistic healer, Robert Young, 53, went on trial at Vista Superior Court where he faces nine charges linked to his work at the pH Miracle Living Center. Seven of those counts involve practicing medicine without a license.
In opening arguments, prosecutor Gina Darvas charged Young with making money peddling pseudoscience to desperate, dying people. Prominent San Diego attorney Paul Pfingst, former San Diego County District Attorney, his defense attorney, said Young was under attack for espousing alternative views to traditional medicine. The trial was expected to last one month. Young remained free on $100,000 bond
The defendant is best known for his “The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health,” which sits at No. 75 on Amazon’s list of top 100 selling weight-loss books. Pfingst said the work, which has sold millions, has been translated into at least 18 languages.
Young is not a medical doctor, but has doctorate degrees in naturopathy and nutrition from the Clayton College of Natural Health, a non-accredited and now-defunct correspondence school in Alabama
During previous hearings, Deputy District Attorney Gina Darvas accused Young of treating people who had run out of hope with intravenous medication at his avocado ranch and health center. He also engaged in medical procedures only authorized for doctors, Darvas said.
Prosecutors in their original 13-page complaint, said Young charged four terminally ill patients at least $50,000 each for treatment. one paid more than $120,000 for treatment. All six terminally ill patients named in the original complaint have died, Darvas said.
Also charged in the complaint were Bennie Stephen Johnson, 63, listed as a medical doctor Young hired to help with patient care and Rocio “Rosie” Placencia, 32, a pH Miracle Center employee who allegedly lied to investigators and hid medical supplies in a shed at her Valley Center home. Court records didn’t list any additional information for those two cases.