Aerial view of smoke from the 2017 fires in Napa and Sonoma Counties, California, on October 12 from near the south end of Lake Berryessa, nearest to the Atlas fire and looking toward the Nuns fire.
A Northern California wildfire that killed two people has been allegedly deliberately started to cover up a murder, authorities announced Wednesday.
The cause of the Markley fire has been explored from day one, but arson has recently been ruled out, Solano County sheriff’s Lt. Jackson Harris said at a news conference Wednesday.
The Markley fire broke out near a reservoir in Solano County, where the cremated body of 32-year-old Priscilla Castro was found, the Solano County Sheriff’s Office and the Vacaville Police Department said.
The casualties of the blaze have been identified as men who were in the path of the fire in Solano County: 82-year-old Douglas Mai of the 7400 block of Pleasant’s Valley Road and 64-year-old Leon “James” Bone of the 7800 block of English Hills Road.
The Markley fire began on August 18 and Castro’s burnt body was found a month later in a rural area near Lake Berryessa, according to the Vacaville Police Department.
Authorities at the time said that Serriteno was looking up information on Castro prior to meeting them and later admitted to investigators that he saw Castro the day of her disappearance, but alleged that they had separated and he had no idea what had happened to her.
There was no mention of Serriteno any more, police said.
The Vacaville Police Department said at the time that it thought, based on cellphone records and other unspecified evidence, that Serriteno killed her shortly after the encounter happened.