Click photo to enlarge
Police tape blocks off a section of San Carlos Avenue as Alameda County Sheriff's deputies work on the scene at an overnight house fire where a woman's body was discovered inside in Castro Valley, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Investigators are looking into the suspicious fire. (Anda Chu/Staff)

SAN LEANDRO -- Police on Thursday announced they'd made an arrest in connection to last week's slaying of a retired woman whose body was found in a burning Castro Valley home, brutally beaten by a man who detectives say may have slipped in through an unlocked door or window.

Police have not release the name of the person arrested, but said more details will be provided at a news conference Friday morning, said Alameda County Sheriff's Office Sgt. J.D. Nelson.

The woman, identified as Barbara Latiolais, 58, lived at the home at 2431 San Carlos Ave. with her longtime partner Michael J. Rice, 60, a retired San Francisco firefighter and the homeowner.

Rice was in Utah at the time and is not a suspect in the killing, police said.

Police are investigating the killing as a homicide, which one deputy called one of the "most violent" he has ever seen.

Nelson said officials believed from the start that the fire was suspicious and an accelerant was used to start the blaze on Oct. 18.

Police said a man, who has not been identified, stole the couple's black 2006 Volvo station wagon from their driveway shortly after the 12:15 a.m. fire. The car was found several hours later at the end of Brookdale Boulevard in Castro Valley. Police declined to say if they lifted any viable fingerprints from the car. Nelson said valuables were taken from the home, but declined to say what.



Advertisement