Woman's body found near trash bin in Vista ID'd; Boyfriend arrested in connection with her death

Victim ID'd as Juanita Kawash

SAN DIEGO - A 53-year-old Vista man was in custody Wednesday for allegedly beating his girlfriend to death and stashing her body in debris next to a commercial garbage bin.

Kirk Leon Stapleton of Vista, who had a romantic relationship with Juanita Kawash, was already jailed on unrelated allegations when he was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of murder, sheriff's Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said.

Kawash's body was found covered in plastic and other debris Aug. 19 behind some shops in the 1400 block of North Santa Fe Avenue in Vista by sheriff's deputies, he said. An autopsy showed she died of blunt force injuries.

"The motive for the killing is undetermined at this time," Giannantonio said, declining to say what evidence linked Stapleton to the killing.

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