Snapchat murder victim identified by police

Posted at 10:53 AM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-03 22:06:02-04

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV)--A homicide victim whose murderer may have mentioned the crime on the social media app Snapchat has been identified by police as 20-year-old Maithem Alfuraiji of Escondido. 

Escondido Police arrested 19-year-old Escondido resident Salvador Alejandro Sanchez on Sunday after friends of the victim brought the suspect's Snapchat posts to the attention of the San Diego Sheriff's Department. 

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Officials said the two men had a disagreement while drinking on April 27 that lead to a fight in which the victim died. They also claim that the suspect buried Alfuraiji's body to a grassy area in Valley Center. 

Sanchez is scheduled to be in court for a preliminary hearing was set for May 16.

Sanchez allegedly "dumped the victim's body and buried it in tall grass" in an area off East Paradise Creek Lane in Valley Center, Escondido police Lt. Justin Murphy said.

On Saturday, friends of the victim saw Snapchat posts from the suspect alluding to a possible homicide and alerted the San Diego County Sheriff's department, which in turn notified the Escondido Police Department.

Without elaborating, Deputy District Attorney Claudia Plascencia said details of the case were still emerging.

The body of Alfuraiji, an Escondido resident, was discovered Sunday.

Sanchez was taken into custody in the vicinity of Ash Street and Grand Avenue that afternoon, Murphy said.

Anyone with information on the case was asked to call Detective John O'Donnell at (760) 839-4756, or the Escondido Police Department's anonymous tip line at (760) 743-8477.

Sanchez -- who's being held on $2 million bail -- faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

He will be back in court May 11 for a readiness conference.  After court, two friends of both the victim and defendant told reporters they helped police make the arrest. 

Alex Gendron said, "We were there when he admitted to us about killing. He showed us the clothes covered in blood."

Kevin Rosado watched a Snapchat that featured only audio.  “Maithem is..he’s crying, ‘Stop! Stop!’ Salvador is saying, ‘You know why I’m doing this.

Stop crying! You know this is coming to you.”

Gendron added, "He said he took out Maithem because he could have been a problem in his future deals of being the next big thing. This kid's insane, he's not a normal individual.'