SAN JACINTO: Woman killed at cemetery in apparent murder-suicide identified

UPDATE: Wednesday, Aug. 23, 4:30 p.m.

SAN JACINTO — Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner’s officials have identified the woman shot to death in what authorities have called an isolated, domestic violence-related incident.

In a coroner’s release, officials identified the victim as 53-year-old, Maria Alvarez, of Hemet.

According to officials, Alvarez died at the cemetery and was pronounced deceased at 9:49 p.m. Her time of injury was listed as 9:25 p.m. Officials have not released the name of the suspect who allegedly shot and killed her, before turning the gun on himself. The unidentified man also died at the cemetery.

Authorities have not specified why Alvarez and the suspect were at the cemetery; however, in an email correspondence a family member of the deceased woman, who requested to remain anonymous, explained the alleged suspect drove the victim to the cemetery, where he later shot and killed her, before killing himself.

The family member of the victim said her family is “completely devastated” by what happened and at the loss of their loved one. Despite the family’s sadness over their tragic loss, her family hopes that this incident might bring the issues of domestic violence into the public’s focus.

“I would love to see this used as an opportunity to raise awareness in our community about the dangers of domestic violence, and the importance of speaking up and reaching out for help,” the woman explained.

“If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse in a relationship, there are resources right here in town for domestic violence, such as CASA (Center Against Sexual Assault) and SAFE (Safe Alternatives for Everyone) in Temecula,” she explained.

“If this story can bring some awareness and hopefully help prevent this from happening to someone else, that would be wonderful.”

No other updated information is currently available regarding the investigation, which is ongoing, according to sheriff’s officials.


SAN JACINTO — Authorities are investigating a possible domestic violence-related murder-suicide after deputies responding to reports of an assault with a deadly weapon found a man and woman who had both succumbed to gunshot injuries.

The deadly incident happened Monday evening, August 21, at the San Jacinto Valley Cemetery, in the 2500 block of N. Santa Fe Street, near E. Menlo Avenue, in San Jacinto.

“At this time the incident appears to be an isolated domestic violence and there are no outstanding suspects,” Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Raymond Huskey explained in a written press release after the incident.

The investigation into the fatal shooting began about 9:25 p.m., when deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s San Jacinto Police Station were dispatched to reports of an assault at the home.

When deputies arrived at the cemetery they found an adult male and female at the location. Both were already deceased when officials found them. Upon closer inspection, deputies determined both had sustained “apparent gunshot wounds,” said Huskey.

The names of the two individuals will not be released until their families have been notified.

Based on the circumstances, investigators from the San Jacinto Police Station and Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

Officials did not provide any other information regarding the deadly incident and have said their investigation is active and ongoing.

Anyone with information regarding this incident can contact Investigator Bishop of the Central Homicide Unit at (951) 955-2777 or Detective Roy of the San Jacinto Police Department at (951) 654-2702. Callers can refer to incident file number I172330086 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s Homicide Tipline online form.

CORRECTION: An early, breaking news version of this report incorrectly indicated the bodies of the deceased were found at a residence, not the cemetery where the bodies were actually discovered.


Contact the writer:

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Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 13 – soon to be 14 – grandchildren.

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