Man admits to killing 92-year-old South Bay woman

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Peter Thao

CHULA VISTA, Calif. – A man who killed a 92-year-old woman during a burglary at her National City apartment pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree murder and burglary charges.

Peter Thao, 27, will be sentenced to 31 years to life in prison at a hearing Aug. 16.

Thao, of Mira Mesa, was arrested last November in the death of Maria Rivera, whose body was found by her daughter at their rental residence in the 1100 block of D Avenue shortly before 6 a.m. on Oct. 22.

Authorities didn’t disclose what led them to identify Thao as Rivera’s killer.

The defendant originally was charged with murder and a special circumstance allegation of murder during a burglary, which could have resulted in a sentence of life without parole or the death penalty.