UPDATE (1/17/2017): Sheriff's deputies have identified the victim as 43-year-old Carolyn Cagey, a Pala reservation resident. The county medical examiner's office said Cagey died from multiple gunshot wounds.
Deputies said the suspect, Milton Trujillo, 34, was arrested in front of the residence of 44239 Margarita Road in Temecula Tuesday morning. Trujillo has been transported to Vista Detention Facility and charged with one count of murder.
The Sheriff's Department is still investigating the homicide and ask anyone with information to call 858-974-2321, after hours at 858-565-5200 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.
A woman was murdered on the Pala Indian Reservation early Monday morning. Sheriff’s investigators are now searching for her killer.
Pala Tribal police closed off Pala Mission Road for 13 hours while investigators gathered clues. It’s a quiet street just a block away from the Pala Casino.
Someone heard gunshots just before the victim was found dead in her car around 3 a.m.
“It’s beyond words at this moment. It’s just something that we’re all trying to take in,” said Kilma Lattin, a relative of the victim and a former Pala Tribal council member.
Lattin says the victim has been through a lot in her life.
“The victim laid her youngest son to rest a few years ago and then about 10 days ago, one of her twin daughters passed away and the very next day, the other twin had a stroke,” said Lattin.
On Sunday afternoon, the victim buried her daughter who passed away. Several hours later, she was murdered.
It’s unclear if the victim was parked in front of her home. The word is she and others in the community knew her killer.
Lattin says there’s growing concern about the number of members who’ve died on the reservation since 2012. He says the mortality rate has skyrocketed. He believes it’s due to a deeper social crisis.
“There’s definitely a social undercurrent that’s happening here that’s not being talked about and I think there are people here are scared to talk about it,” said Lattin. “I think there’s fear of reprisal from authorities on the local reservation.”
He says in any other community, this would be considered a public health crisis.
Lattin adds in the first three weeks of 2017, the tribe has already lost three members.