Suspect arrested in death of Arizona woman at Mission Valley motel


A San Diego Police Department vehicle pictured near crime scene tape.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A 40-year-old man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of killing an Arizona woman this week at a Mission Valley motel.

Santiago Contreras of San Diego was taken into custody in Ocean Beach in connection with the death of Tonya Molina, 43, of Tucson, according to police.

A housekeeper found Molina dead in a rented room at a lodge in the 400 block of Hotel Circle South about 1:15 p.m. Monday, Lt. Andra Brown said. Detectives have determined that Molina had been at the motel in the company of a man who checked in Sunday night, the lieutenant said.

Following an autopsy, the county Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Molina’s death a homicide.

Officials have not released Molina’s cause of death, disclosed a suspected motive for the alleged slaying or revealed the nature of the relationship between Contreras and Molina.

Contreras was booked into San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of murder. He was being held without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for April 29.

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