(KRON) — A Santa Rosa homicide victim’s severed head was found along a creek two days after she was slain and decapitated, police revealed Monday.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s coroner identified the victim Monday afternoon as 64-year-old Elvia Lopez-Arroyo of Santa Rosa. Police officers found her body inside a home on Pomo Trail on November 2. Her head — and the killer — were missing from the grisly crime scene.
The Santa Rosa Police Department sent out an alert to the public on November 3 stating Luis Gustavo Aroyo-Lopez was at-large and dangerous. The suspected killer is the victim’s 23-year-old grandson, police said.
“The initial investigation conducted by detectives from SRPD Violent Crimes Investigations (VCI) team revealed Luis Gustavo Aroyo-Lopez, a 23-year-old resident of Santa Rosa and blood relative of the victim, killed the victim in a targeted attack before leaving the scene with the female victim’s head. Multiple weapons were recovered from the residence,” police wrote.
The grandmother had been stabbed, police said.
Detectives disseminated information about the grandson to surrounding Bay Area law enforcement agencies as the manhunt continued.
A San Francisco Police Department officer spotted Aroyo-Lopez at the Transbay Transit Center on San Francisco’s Mission Street Saturday. The foot patrol officer recognized Aroyo-Lopez from the wanted person bulletin and immediately took him into custody.
Investigators said they found the victim’s head at 7:30 p.m. Saturday on the banks of Santa Rosa Creek, adjacent to the Prince Memorial Greenway. The head was brought to the Sonoma County Coroner’s Office for further examination.
Santa Rosa police detectives arrested the grandson before booking him into the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility on suspicion of murder. Aroyo-Lopez was not granted bail and remained in custody as of Monday afternoon.
Not long before the grandmother was slain, Aroyo-Lopez was released from state prison and placed on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS). He served time in prison for assault with a deadly weapon and weapons possession convictions. The victim in his prior assault case was not his grandmother, police said.