A woman was found murdered Monday night in a Los Alamitos apartment building that was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, officials said.
Los Alamitos Police identified the murder suspect just a few hours after arriving at the scene. Police Capt. Bruce McAlpine identified Joseph Elias George Ettima as their prime suspect. McAlpine released a photograph of Ettima during a news conference and said Ettima was related to the murdered woman.
A neighbor who lives directly across from the crime scene said Ettima was a recently paroled from prison and that the dead woman was Ettima's grandmother.
Orange County firefighters responded to the fire at 3671 Farquhar Ave. at about 5:30 p.m., according to Orange County Fire Authority spokesman Greg McKeown and along with Los Alamitos police, began evacuating residents.
They located the origin of the fire in an upstairs apartment, entered a back bedroom and found a woman dead from fire or other means, Los Alamitos police Capt. Bruce McAlpine said.
The woman was about 78 to 80 years old, according to McAlpine.
Twelve people were evacuated and the Red Cross was called to assist, the captain said.
No one else was injured.