UPDATED: Car and body found off Gilman Springs related to homicide of 78-year-old grandmother in Banning
UPDATE #4 4/12/2016 2 p.m.
Writer’s note: An early version of this incident referenced a gold mini-van as possibly related to this investigation. That turned out to not be the case and I updated my report last night accordingly. I apologize for any confusion this error might have caused.
BANNING – Banning Police officers responding to the report of an unattended death discovered a 78-year-old woman with “obvious signs of major physical trauma,” Sunday, April 10, at 6:40 p.m., according to police officials.
The victim was found inside a mobile home located at the Mountain Air Mobile Home Park in the 4100 block of West Wilson Street, in Banning, according to Banning Police Chief of Police Alex Diaz.
Early into their investigation, officers began searching for the victim’s missing vehicle, described as a red Ford Fiesta, as well as her 25-year-old granddaughter. Officers have not identified the name of the granddaughter and have not yet stated whether the granddaughter was being sought as a possible victim or suspect in this incident.
Banning police officers and homicide detectives conducted a thorough death investigation at the mobile home park that continued into Monday.
The victim’s name was being withheld pending notification of her family, according Banning Police Sergeant Loader. Loader was also unable to release the name of the victim’s missing granddaughter, pending further investigation.
At about 9:44 a.m., April 11, California Highway Patrol officers found the victim’s abandoned Ford Fiesta near the intersection of Gilman Springs Road and Bold Style Avenue. While CHP officers were investigating the abandoned vehicle, they conducted a records check that revealed the vehicle was being sought in connection to the Banning homicide investigation.
CHP officers contacted Banning Police officials and notified them about their discovery.
Banning homicide investigators responded to the location to process the vehicle for evidence and they conducted a search of the area around the car. While searching the area, investigators located the body of a female who was possibly related to their homicide investigation, according Diaz.
Following CHP and Banning PD’s discoveries, Forensics Units and the Riverside County Coroner’s office were called to the scene of the abandoned Fiesta and the body discovered nearby.
As of this report, officials have not announced any direct connection between the vehicle, the missing granddaughter and the Banning homicide.
Loader could not release any further information about this investigation and referred all further inquiries to Banning Police administration.
The vehicle was later towed and impounded as evidence.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.
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