Family identifies woman murdered in Thermal

Man in custody following death

THERMAL, Calif. - A man is in custody for the homicide of a woman after an arson sparked an investigation in Thermal Saturday. 22-year-old Christian Pacheco of Indio was arrested and booked on suspicion of murder.

Watch: Man in custody for Thermal homicide after arson sparks investigation

KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 heard from the brother of the victim on Monday. He identified her as Elilia Valdez. Her family has set up a donation page to help with her funeral expenses and to help restore her children's belonging which was destroyed in the fire, according tot he family's donation page.

We're expecting to hear more from her brother later on Monday, so you'll want to tune into News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 for updated information. 

See photos showing destroyed trailer following alleged arson fire

Deputies from the Sheriff’s Thermal Station responded to the 83500 block of Avenue 60 for a report of arson to a structure at 11:41 a.m. When they arrived deputies found a mobile home fully engulfed. Crews with CAL FIRE/ Riverside Co. County Fire contained the blaze in about 30 minutes.

The occupants of the trailer were not found. According to deputies, witnesses said a domestic violence incident may have occurred between a woman and her boyfriend before the home was set on fire.

At 12:45 PM, deputies detained Pacheco in the 51700 block of Calle Torres Orduno, in Coachella.

Later that evening, Sheriff's investigators located the woman's body in the area of 63700 Monroe Street, in Thermal.

Pacheco was held with no bail at the Indio jail, with a March 22 court appearance set, according to sheriff's inmate records.The woman's identity is not being released as deputies are working to notify her family.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to telephone Investigator Butvidas of the Sheriff’s Thermal Station at (760) 836-3215, or Investigator Dickey of the Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit at (951) 955-2777.

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