Cat leads to discovery of Ore. murder, suspect arrest

Cat leads to discovery of Ore. murder, suspect arrest

Credit: OSP, Malheur County Jail

Antonio Villa is charged with murder. Police say this cat lead them to the discovery of a murder at an Ontario apartment.

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by KTVB

NWCN.com

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 5:48 AM

ONTARIO, Ore. -- New details continue to emerge in a homicide investigation in Ontario, Oregon.

Around 2:15 a.m. Tuesday, officers were called to an apartment at 1371 SW 8th Avenue #6 in Ontario.  There they found a deceased female identified as 56-year-old Araceli Hernandez.  

Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris says upon further investigation, detectives identified Antonio Alfaro Villa, 32, as a suspect in Hernandez's death.  Villa was arrested by an Oregon State Police trooper for driving under the influence Monday between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

The trooper found a cat in the vehicle that belonged to Hernandez.  The pet was returned to a family.  It was that family member who went to Hernandez's Ontario apartment and found her body.

Norris says Hernandez likely died between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.  It appears a knife or other sharp object was used as the murder weapon.  Hernandez and Villa were involved in a boyfriend-girlfriend type relationship.

An autopsy will be performed Thursday at the State Medical Examiner's office in Portland, Oregon.

Villa will be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. today on the murder charge.

NewsChannel 7 has a crew in Ontario today and is working to gather more information about this homicide investigation.

Stay with KTVB.COM for updates on this developing story.

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