California slaying victims are mom, 2 kids and another woman

California slaying victims are mom, 2 kids and another woman

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The four people killed last week in a quiet Northern California neighbourhood include a woman and her two children, authorities said.

The victims are Angelique Vasquez, 45; her daughter, Mia Vasquez, 14; her son, Alvin Vasquez, 11; and Ashley Coleman, 21, according to the Sacramento County coroner’s office Sunday.

Detectives did not immediately know what relationship Coleman had to the Vasquez family, Sacramento Officer Matthew McPhail said.

Sacramento City Unified School District officials said Sunday the two siblings were fifth and eighth-graders who loved sports.

Alvin Vasquez loved basketball and was a fifth-grader who had recently transferred from John Cabrillo Elementary School to Sutterville Elementary School. His sister Mia Vasquez was a goalie on her school’s soccer team. She was an eighth-grader at Sam Brannan Middle School.

Grief counsellors will be at the three schools on Monday to help children deal with the loss, officials said.

Police found the victims Thursday when they broke into a single-story home in Sacramento after a relative reported that something might be wrong. Investigators treated the entire house as evidence, McPhail said.

Authorities arrested Salvador Vasquez-Oliva, 56, on suspicion of homicide after finding him in San Francisco, about 90 miles (145 kilometres) away from the killings. They have not named a motive or said what relationship he has to the dead. Police have not said when or how the victims were killed.

A former co-worker described Angelique Vasquez as a devoted mother.

“I loved her free spirit and the way she spoke about her children. She loved them so much,” said Sheila Stewart, who met Vasquez seven years ago in the human resources department of California’s Employment Development Department.

Vasquez had split with her husband “in the past,” Stewart said.

“She didn’t really talk about him, at least not to me,” she said Friday. “I know they had problems like any relationship but never heard any stories of physical abuse.”

Vasquez-Oliva also worked for the Employment Development Department, which administers the state’s unemployment checks. Agency officials said Vasquez-Oliva had worked as an office technician since 2014.

The killings don’t appear to be random, Sgt. Bryce Heinlein said Thursday.

It was not immediately known if Vasquez-Oliva has an attorney. He was being held in the Sacramento County Jail, Heinlein said.

Police said Vasquez-Oliva is from Sacramento, but records show he also is associated with an apartment near the University of San Francisco, six blocks from where police found him.

There was no answer at the door Friday, though a light was on inside.

___

Associated Press writers Don Thompson in Sacramento and Paul Elias in San Francisco contributed to this report.

Christopher Weber And Amanda Lee Myers, The Associated Press

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