“Person of interest” detained but no charges brought forward
A woman was found dead inside an apartment following reports of a disturbance Tuesday afternoon in the first block of South Soledad Street, police said.
Multiple 9-1-1 calls were made Tuesday around 4:46 p.m. reporting a disturbance between a man and a woman in the complex. Several callers reported a “chaotic situation” and officers responded and found the deceased victim, whose identity was withheld Tuesday, said Anthony Wagner, spokesman for the Santa Barbara Police Department.
A person of interest, a Latino man, was detained at the scene and taken to the police station for questioning, Mr. Wagner said.
As of Tuesday night, police were continuing to interview the person of interest to establish the relationship between he and the victim. The person of interest was not facing any charges, Mr. Wagner told the News-Press.
Police were in the process of obtaining and serving a search warrant at the residence. The warrant was expected to be served at some point Tuesday night, which would allow police to examine the contents of the apartment and the “disposition of the deceased,” Mr. Wagner said, adding that the police department is working with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Bureau to determine the cause of death.
Several patrol units were on scene after the call came through dispatch. Traffic was shutdown in the area for at least an hour as authorities began the investigation. Detectives remained on scene for several hours collecting information, interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence, Mr. Wagner said.
More than a dozen people stood outside along the sidewalk, some pulling out their phones to take pictures. Many asked questions of the media members nearby about what had happened, and expressed fear that Tuesday’s incident was linked to the homicide that occurred Saturday night just a few blocks away in the 1300 block of Cacique Street.
On Tuesday, police identified the victim of the homicide as Alberto Suarez Torres, 29, of Santa Barbara.
At 1:15 a.m. Saturday, police responded to the area and located a man who had just been assaulted. Police located Mr. Torres, who was unconscious, and began emergency life-saving efforts as other law enforcement arrived on scene.
Mr. Torres suffered multiple stab wounds from a sharp object. He was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital where he died from his injuries, Mr. Wagner said.
An investigation is continuing. No suspects have been identified and no arrests have been made.
Mr. Wagner told the News-Press that it did not appear those incidents were related.
“While there have been some notable events in the city and in our neighboring jurisdiction, none of these events seem to be connected and thus far (Tuesday’s incident) appears to be an anomaly,” Mr. Wagner said.