A man who allegedly set an Escondido house fire that killed another man last weekend was jailed Thursday on suspicion of arson and murder.
Escondido police arrested Jose Trinidad Romero, 32, during a traffic stop on Wednesday. After being questioned by detectives about the deadly blaze, he was booked into county jail in Vista early Thursday morning, Lt. Kevin Toth said.
Romero is suspected of torching a home in the 600 block of Waverly Place for unknown reasons shortly before 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Toth said.
While extinguishing the flames, firefighters found the victim, whose name has been withheld pending family notification. Medics took him to Palomar Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
“The victim … (had) sustained injuries consistent with being assaulted prior to the fire in the home being set,” Toth said. “Evidence obtained from the scene indicates that the fire was deliberately set. The precise manner and cause of death are still under investigation by the Medical Examiner’s Office.”
The lieutenant did not disclose what led investigators to conclude that the blaze was an act of arson and identify Romero as the suspected perpetrator. Other aspects of the case, including what prompted the alleged murder, also remain unclear.
“Although investigators believe that Romero and the victim were known to one another, their exact relationship is still under investigation,” the lieutenant said. “Any motives or events leading up to the incident are still under investigation.”
Romero was being held without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Oct. 30.
–City News Service
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: