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Details emerge about victims of suspected double-murder in North County

ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- FOX 5 is learning more about two women found dead in Escondido Thursday morning and their alleged murderer.

Family members have identified the victims as sisters Veronica and Ana Soto.

Around 4:30 a.m. Thursday, police got a 911 call about an SUV on fire off Country Club Drive. After the flames were put out, a woman's body was found inside. Officers then traced the license plate to a home in the 500 block of 11th Avenue. There they found another woman dead, and two children sleeping  inside.

“The first thing I heard was 529 get out of the house. Then they repeated that again, 529 get out of the house. Then I was thinking 529 was kind of a code, but then my brother was like, no, 529 is next door. Next thing we know, I opened the window and I see them carrying both of the girls," a neighbor, who did not want to be identified, told FOX 5.

Family members said the children are Veronica's a 4- and 5-year-old girls. Police said they are now staying with relatives.

On Friday, police identified the suspect as 33-year-old Juan Carlos Ortega. Officers said he was arrested at his Carlsbad workplace on two counts of murder. Family members confirmed Ortega is Veronica's ex-husband.

“Her husband was always kind of changing moods. He would be all nice and friendly one day, then the next day -- or actually the same day -- you would walk by and he would be ignoring you," his former neighbor said.

Family members have asked for privacy during this time.

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