Family members found Maria Cristina Ramirez-Diaz on the garage floor of an apartment in the 13000 block of Fairview Avenue in Garden Grove around 4:30 p.m. on Friday. She had been beaten and strangled.
Responding Garden Grove Police officers, who pronounced the 42-year-old dead at the scene, did not have to go far to find their murder suspect.
He was inside the apartment when they arrived.
In fact, 50-year-old Arturo Salazar lives there. Ramirez-Diaz used to before moving out and relocating in Santa Ana.
She and Salazar had a prior romantic relationship and she bore him an 8-year-old daughter, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office, which believes the ex's had a fight over Ramirez-Diaz's demand for money from Salazar to help raise the child.
He was taken to the Garden Grove Police headquarters, where he was arrested on suspicion of murder after questioning. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
The Orange County District Attorney's Office statement on the charges follows . . .
October 18, 2010
MAN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR MURDERING EX-GIRLFRIEND AFTER ARGUING OVER MONEY TO CARE FOR THIER 8-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER
WESTMINSTER - A man will be arraigned this afternoon for murdering his ex-girlfriend by beating her to death after she asked for money to take care of their 8-year-old daughter. Arturo Tapia Salazar, 42, Garden Grove, is charged with one felony count of murder and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted. The people will be requesting $1 million bail at Salazar's arraignment today, Oct. 18, 2010, this afternoon in Department W-14, West Justice Center, Westminster.
On the afternoon of Oct. 15, 2010, 52-year-old Cristina Ramirez arrived at Salazar's Garden Grove apartment. The defendant is accused of engaging in an argument with his ex-girlfriend after she asked for money to care for their 8-year-old daughter. Salazar is accused of hitting and beating Ramirez repeatedly and strangling her to death.
The victim died at the scene due to strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head. Witnesses called 911. Salazar was arrested at the scene by Garden Grove police.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Cameron Talley of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.
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