An illegal alien from Mexico who was deported last year is accused of fatally shooting and burning a Washington woman and her son.
Prudencio Fragos-Ramirez, 25, was arraigned on Monday and is being held on $1 million bail for the murders of 18-year-old Maria Cruiz-Calvillo and her 3-year-old son, Luis Lopez-Cruz, the Tri-City Herald reports.
The burned bodies were found on Thursday inside a vehicle that was set on fire in a ravine in a remote area.
The two had gunshot wounds, but the boy was likely still alive when the car was set ablaze, according to Franklin County coroner Dan Blasdel.
Luis would have turned four years old on Thursday.
“She was a really good person. She was always smiling,” said Karen Rodriguez, a sister-in-law of Cruiz-Calvillo who spoke for the family. “He was a happy kid. He was really playful and loved to be outside.”
Prosecutors allege that Fragos-Ramirez had just begun dating Cruiz-Calvillo and killed her out of jealousy because her family thinks she never wanted a serious relationship with him. He was last seen by a neighbor after Cruiz-Calvillo and Lopez-Cruz arrived at his house in Pasco, a small town in central Washington. The three drove away in Cruiz-Calvillo’s car, which was found ablaze 30 minutes later in a ravine, according to court documents.
Fragos-Ramirez was arrested hours into the double-murder investigation at his home less than a mile from where the bodies were found. He denied any wrongdoing but gave conflicting accounts to police. He said he recently owned a handgun but sold it to Cruiz-Calvillo. He told investigators that his brother witnessed the gun sell, but the brother denied the claim.
He appeared Monday in Franklin County Superior Court, where Judge Carrie Runge set bail at $1 million.
Fragos-Ramirez was last deported in 2014 but had re-entered the country illegally. He has a rap sheet that includes charges for DUI and driving with a suspended license.
The case comes amid renewed attention on homicides carried out by previously-deported illegal aliens.
Francisco Sanchez, a 45-year-old five-time deportee with seven felonies on his record, has admitted to shooting 31-year-old Kate Steinle in broad daylight at a popular San Francisco tourist destination last week.