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An arrest has been made in the murder of a California woman whose body was found by her estranged husband and children when they returned from vacation.
27-year-old Jaime Balsells was arrested for the murder of 36-year-old Virginia ‘Gina’ Cantero, according to People. Cantero’s husband and three teenage children found her body on Tuesday at her Sylmar home.
Cantero died after sustaining a stab wound to her neck, according to a medical examiner’s report cited by People. Her killer also used a ligature to strangle her.
Authorities took Balsells into custody following a his arrest for a fight in Santa Monica.
“The officer was driving up into a parking lot and came across a fight,” Santa Monica Police Department spokesman Lt. Rudy Flores told People. “At some point, they detained some individuals, and one of those individuals was Jaime Balsells.”
LAPD Detective Christine Moselle had Balsells on her radar.
“I had put out a want [sic?] for him that we were looking for him in connection with this investigation, and Santa Monica Police Department took him into custody based on that,” Moselle told People. “I arrested him after my interview with him.”
Prior to Balsells’s arrest, Sean Soto suspected him of his sister’s murder, as previously reported.
“He fooled us,” Soto told NBC Los Angeles. “We thought he could be a really trusted person.”
Cantero’s children and husband had just returned from a trip to Mexico when they made the shocking discovery. They called the police, who responded to the Sylmar residence at 11:20 p.m.
“Upon arrival, the officers located a female victim down inside a residence,” the LAPD stated in a news release. “The Los Angeles Fire Department responded and pronounced the victim deceased. The initial investigation revealed the female was a victim of a violent homicide.”
Cantero’s brother told NBC Los Angeles that he suspected his sister was murdered shortly after her husband left with their children for Mexico.
“I called her the last few days,” said Soto. “No response.”
“She had been deceased for an unknown amount of time,” Detective Moselle told People. “But definitely several days.”
Moselle added there was “no evidence of forced entry.”
Cantero was separated from her husband and had been in a relationship with Balsells, according to extended family members cited by CBSLA.
“He [Balsells] may have been staying with them off and on,” Moselle told People. “There is still a lot of information in this case we are not going to discuss.”
Balsells is being held on $2 million bail and scheduled for an arraignment on Tuesday.
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