ESCONDIDO — While an arrest was made in the case of an adult female found dead in a parked car on the northbound El Norte Parkway onramp to Interstate 15 earlier this month, many details surrounding the death are still under wraps.
On Tuesday, Escondido Police Lt. Justin Murphy held a press conference to announce the arrest of 38-year-old San Marcos resident Edward Andrew Long on June 21 in Las Vegas, Nev.
Long is currently being held in a jail in Las Vegas awaiting extradition on first-degree murder charges of his girlfriend, 38-year-old Fontana, Calif., resident Elizabeth Antionette Perez.
Law enforcement and emergency personnel responded to a report a little after 1 p.m. on June 13. Perez was found seated in the driver’s seat of her Mercury Sable with an apparent head injury. The windows on the driver’s side and passenger side of the vehicle were broken.
Murphy revealed the cause of death to be a single gunshot to her head, though investigators are awaiting a final report from the County medical examiner’s office.
It isn’t yet clear just how the vehicle came to be parked on the onramp or for how long it had been there before authorities responded.
Initially the case was being investigated as a suspicious death.
It was later determined to be a homicide, according to Murphy.
As the cause of death was ultimately determined, Long became a person of interest in the homicide investigation, Murphy said.
Escondido detectives received a warrant to search Long’s San Marcos home where, according to Murphy, several items were seized.
Murphy wouldn’t elaborate on the items found at the home.
On June 21, an officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department conducted a traffic enforcement stop on a vehicle in which Long was riding in.
A crime bulletin, which had been shared with law enforcement agencies, showed Long as a person of interest in the case. Long was then taken into custody and is now awaiting transfer back to San Diego to face the murder charge in connection with the death of Perez.
Another person was driving the vehicle in which Long was arrested in, though investigators, at this time, don’t believe he was involved in the murder.
“Escondido Police detectives traveled to Las Vegas to continue their investigation and serve additional search warrants,” Murphy said.
The investigation, Murphy explained, is ongoing and details, including what evidence was seized, a motive, and caliber of weapon used haven’t been released.
According to a timeline of events, the investigation into Perez’s death began on June 13. Four days later, Long was deemed a person of interest.
“Evidence that we collected during a search warrant of his residence made him a person of interest in this case,” said Murphy.
Murphy confirmed that Long does have a criminal record.
Details on Long’s criminal record were not given per the department’s policy not to share criminal history information about those that they charge with crimes, according to Lt. Edward Varso,
Long is being charged with first-degree murder, which entails a 25 years-to-life sentence.