A 38-year-old man stands accused of killing his long-time girlfriend and dumping her body on a Delta road before lighting it on fire, according to authorities.
Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies Monday night arrested Robert Juan Enriquez Monday night in connection with the death of his 30-year-old girlfriend, whose body was discovered by a patrol deputy early Thursday. The victim’s name has not been released.
Facing charges of murder and domestic violence, Enriquez is scheduled to be arraigned today in Sacramento Superior Court.
Detectives identified Enriquez as a suspect after he called authorities Sunday morning to report his girlfriend missing, said sheriff’s Sgt. Lisa Bowman. He said his live-in girlfriend had not returned since leaving their Oakhollow Drive apartment in Foothill Farms on Jan. 22.
The deputy taking the report noted similarities between Enriquez’s description of his girlfriend and that of the woman whose body had been found Thursday morning, Bowman said. Though she was burned beyond recognition, the coroner’s office was able to provide an approximate physical description of her.
Upon further questioning of Enriquez, detectives discovered “inconsistencies” in his statements and other investigative details that linked the missing person report to the body, Bowman said.
The woman’s cause of death has not been determined, though detectives believe she was killed at the Oakhollow apartment before her body was transported to the levee road, Bowman said. Her body was about 20 feet off the road, north of Twin Cities Road and just east of Snodgrass Slough.
There, detectives allege Enriquez set fire to her body in an effort to conceal evidence. His motive remains unknown, Bowman said.
The couple had been dating at least five years, Bowman said, and had a young child together. That child has been taken into protective custody.
There was no domestic violence previously documented in the relationship, Bowman said.
Enriquez has a criminal history that includes drug and illegal gun possession, driving under the influence and petty theft, according to Sacramento Superior Court records available online.
Efforts by The Sacramento Bee to reach Enriquez’s family members were not successful.
A deputy assigned to the Delta district discovered the woman’s body about 8 a.m. Thursday on his routine patrol route, Bowman said.
Life in the Delta is so different – generating so few calls for service – that area residents have the cellphone numbers of deputies assigned to their region, Bowman said. The pace affords deputies more time than usual for proactive policing, followup on previous problems and attention to quality of life issues.
“They’re like their own Andy Griffith,” Bowman said of the relationship between deputies and residents.
Among common complaints from local residents and farmers are drug use, trash disposal and illegal fires along the waterways and levee roads. The area also is a dumping ground for stolen cars, Bowman said.
Call The Bee’s Kim Minugh, (916) 321-1038.