PERRIS: San Jacinto man arrested for murder after body found in burned car

PERRIS — Sheriff’s investigators have arrested a San Jacinto resident who has since been charged for the murder of a person whose body was found inside a burned vehicle, Monday night, Apr. 9. The victim’s body was discovered by firefighters after extinguishing a vehicle blaze in the area of Monument Parkway and Monolith Trail, southwest of Ethanac and Goetz Roads, in Perris.

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Officials arrested Mario Renteria after they say he murdered a person whose body was found inside a burning vehicle in Perris yesterday evening. RSO booking photo

“Multiple witnesses” at “several crime scenes” led investigators to identify and arrest Mario Salvador Aleja Renteria, 28, of San Jacinto, Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Ben Ramirez explained this morning. He was arrested just after 7 p.m., a little more than an hour after the incident was first reported, and was booked into Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of murder.

Deputies assigned to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Perris Station were responding to reports of the body found inside the burned vehicle shortly before 6 p.m., when they received a report of an assault with a deadly weapon about twelve miles away, on the 21000 block of Magnolia Avenue, in the unincorporated community of Nuevo.

Based on details officials have not yet explained, deputies managed to connect the two incidents and “believed the suspect and victim were in the area of the vehicle fire,” according to Ramirez.

“With the assistance of an air unit, deputies located (Renteria) leaving the area in another vehicle, on Caldera Street,” said Ramirez.

Deputies initiated a vehicle stop on Renteria’s vehicle about four miles from where firefighters found the victim’s body inside the burned vehicle. The vehicle yielded in the area of Ethanac Road and Tyler Avenue in Romoland and deputies detained Renteria without incident for further investigation.

Based on the circumstances Perris Station and the Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit investigators assumed the investigation, conducting “multiple witness interviews” and processing “several crime scenes,” according to Ramirez.

The victim has not yet been identified.

An online jail record search revealed Renteria remains in custody, held without bail and he is scheduled to be arraigned at Riverside Hall Of Justice, Apr. 12.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Investigator Salisbury at the Perris Sheriff Station at (951) 210-1000 or Investigator Moody at the Central Homicide Unit at (951) 955-2777. Callers can refer to incident file number PC180990041 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s Homicide Tipline online form.


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Trevor Montgomery, 46, recently moved to Shasta County from Riverside County and 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 as well as 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, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries 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 27 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 14 grandchildren.

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