Police made an arrest Thursday morning in the fatal stabbing of 21-year-old Maria Cerrillo, whose body was found in an alley. Police said a number of tips led them to the arrest of Luis Antonio Garcia Morales, an ex-boyfriend of the victim. He is being held on $1 million bail. Vikki Vargas reports from Santa Ana for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Nov. 15, 2012.
Police arrested a 24-year-old man on suspicion of stabbing his ex-girlfriend to death in a Santa Ana alley earlier this week.
Luis Antonio Garcia Morales was arrested around 9 a.m. near First Street and Harbor, according to the Santa Ana Police Department.
He had been named a person of interest Wednesday in the death of Maria Isabel Cerrillo, who was found dead Tuesday evening, having been stabbed in the abdomen multiple times.
Witnesses said they heard screams and the sound of running in the alley between North Laurel and Susan streets on Tuesday night.
"The victim and this individual had a relationship in the past, and it's our belief that he's been contacting her in an attempt to rekindle the relationship, which she had no interest in doing,'' Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.
Investigators suspect Morales may have lured her into the neighborhood and attacked her, Bertagna said.
Cerrillo, pictured below at right, who was living with her parents in Santa Ana, had no criminal history and no gang ties, Bertagna said.
Investigators are trying to determine why Cerrillo would have traveled to the 200 block of North Laurel Street, where her body was found, about 10 miles from her home, Bertagna said.
"She had no family, no business over there, so what drew her over there is what detectives were trying to figure out,'' Bertagna said.
Cerrillo's car was found in the alley about 300 yards from where her body was found, Bertagna said.
Morales had sold his car and was trying to flee to Mexico, Bertagna said.
"Fortunately, we go him before that," Bertagna said.
Morales was being held on $1 million bail. Authorities said they hopes a judge would deny bail since police consider Morales a flight risk.