Man arrested in grisly Santee murder

Roommate talks to 10News about finding body
Posted at 11:22 PM, Nov 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-22 12:56:26-05

Answers are finally coming for the family of a Santee woman who was brutally murdered inside her apartment back in October.

Jose Luis Nunez-Torres, 21, was arrested in connection with the Oct. 4 death of a 34-year-old woman who found dead in her home, but a possible second suspect remains at large, police said Monday.

Torres was already in custody at the San Diego Central Jail for unrelated matters when he was arrested on suspicion of murdering Leticia Arroyo, according to San Diego County Sheriff's Lt. Kenneth Nelson.

Arroyo, was described as someone who was always smiling, had a great sense of humor and loved softball.

“It’s killing us inside, considering what happened, I want her to be remembered, her smile, her laugh,” Arroyo’s brother, Steven Chavez, told 10News at a vigil for his sister. “Words can’t describe it, you can’t imagine losing someone like this, so we’re not going to stop until justice is served.”

The woman's roommate called 911 shortly after 10:30 p.m. on the day of the killing and told dispatchers she was unconscious and had suffered some type of trauma to her upper body.

That roommate talked exclusively to 10News Monday, opening up for the first time.

“It was a blur, I worked 16 hours, came home, thought someone was sleeping on the floor,” the man said, asking that we not name him. “When I got down closer to her to see if she was alive or dead, I (touched) her elbow and I knew she was dead.”

Deputies and paramedics sent to the home on Mission Greens Road near Mission Gorge Road arrived to find her dead, Nelson said. Arroyo's cause of death has not been disclosed.
A neighbor who did not give his name told a television station he heard a bang that sounded like a firecracker around 8:15 p.m. on Oct. 4, then saw a man leaving the victim's home.

Arroyo's ex-roommate said that his life has been ruined since finding the body. He continues to live in the same townhouse. 

“It’s indescribable, it will be there for the rest of my life,” he said. “It’s been hell. Hell trying to work, hell with the whole family life, everything.”

He said police also looked at him as a potential suspect, but he said he has nothing to do with it. He said he doesn’t know the man under arrest for her murder, but he knows that the crime never should have happened.

“She didn’t deserve to die like that, that’s for sure,” he said. “Good person.”

Investigators are still looking for a second suspect.