Salinas man strangles mother and attempts to light her on fire

SALINAS (KRON) —  On Tuesday Salinas police arrested a 24-year-old man for allegedly strangling his mother at their Salinas home and putting her body in a car he planned to light on fire, police said.

Erick DeAnda was arrested on suspicion of killing his mother, 53-year-old Lilia DeAnda, and booked into Monterey County Jail, police said.

Around 6 p.m. Tuesday, Monterey County sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of suspicious circumstances and a possible dead body in a car’s trunk at the Prune Tree Shopping Center in Prunedale, police said.

Deputies arrived to find a dead woman inside the parked car and the vehicle’s driver, Erick, admitted he had killed her, according to police.

Investigators learned he lives with his family on Douglas Avenue in Salinas, where he allegedly strangled his mother after an argument and put her body inside the trunk, police said.

The suspect allegedly planned to leave the car, owned by his mother, at another location to light it on fire, according to police.

Soon afterward, family members arrived at the Douglas Avenue home and began a search for Lilia by calling her cellphone, which was answered by Erick, who confessed to killing his mother and putting her body in the car’s trunk, police said.

The family members alerted police and law enforcement personnel were able to track Erick down at the shopping center, according to police.

Investigators suspect Erick drove the vehicle to a Shell gas station, possibly in Gonzales or Soledad, to fill a gas can he may have planned to use as an accelerant to light the fire, police said.

The vehicle was a 2012 dark gray or black Toyota Corolla with California license plate No. 6WJP260, police said.

Anyone who saw the vehicle at a gas station or Erick driving in the southern Monterey County area to call the police investigations division at (831) 758-7226.

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