A 56-year-old man was charged today with murder and arson after police say he killed and dismembered a woman, transported her remains in a suitcase onboard a Gold Line train and then set the suitcase on fire in the parking lot of the Cypress Park Home Depot.
Valentino Gutierrez allegedly murdered the victim – believed to be his wife, 31-year-old Tiana Alfred — in an abandoned restaurant in Pasadena, police said. A few hours later just after midnight on Feb. 1, Gutierrez boarded a southbound Gold Line train with a bike and a suitcase believed to contain the victim’s remains. He then exited the train at the Cypress Park-Lincoln Heights station and rode his bike with the suitcase in tow to the Home Depot parking lot, where he set the suitcase on fire.
The account was presented during an afternoon press conference in which police explained how they used surveillance cameras and bloodhounds to track Gutierrez to a Pasadena homeless shelter in the 400 block of Raymond Street, where he and the victim had been living in for a few months, said Capt. William Hayes, commanding officer of the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division.
“To dismember and individual like that is pretty grotesque,” said Hayes during the televised news conference. “It takes an awful lot of effort and determination by an individual, which is pretty cold.”
Hayes said police have not yet determined the motive for the crime.
Gutierrez, who was apprehended on Feb. 2, has a long criminal history that includes convictions for burglary, sexual battery, robbery, domestic violence, narcotics and other crimes.
He is being held on $2 million bail.
Hayes said they are awaiting on the coroner to verify the victim’s identity.
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