Man arrested for murder after using victim's credit card

Suspect's girlfriend charged with destroying evidence

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - A suspect has been arrested in connection to the death of an elderly man who was assaulted and robbed inside a gated community in Cathedral City.

Police said David John Zuniga, 78, was found dead on January, 9, inside the Rio Del Sol Estates. Zuniga had his car and wallet stolen following the assault.

Two days after he was killed, Tiberiu Nista, a 33-year-old man from the Palm Springs area, was arrested at Casino Morongo in Cabazon after trying to buy alcohol with Zuniga's credit card, according to police.

Following his arrest, detectives with the Cathedral City Police Department served a search warrant at Nista's home in Windy Point and found the victim's car key as well as other property linking Nista to the crime.

After investigating, police determined that Nista severely assaulted Zuniga which led  to his death.

On February, 11, Nista was re-booked for homicide, felony crimes against an elderly adult, robbery, auto theft, possession of stolen property, fraud and forgery. His bail was set at $1.5 million.

Nista's girlfriend, 53-year-old Florence Jean  Hanson of Palm Springs, was also arrested on February, 11, for accessory to a felony for assisting Nista after he killed Zuniga.

Police said they determined Hanson destroyed evidence related to the case. Her bail has been set at $500,000., Both suspects are being held at the Smith Correctional Facility.

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