The body of a woman discovered in East Valinda last month has been identified as the girlfriend of an Orange County man who led officers on a chase that shut down a busy freeway for an hour last week, police said Saturday.
Shazer Fernando Limas, 31, was arrested early Friday following the chase on Interstate 5. He is suspected of killing his girlfriend, Arlet Hernandez Contreras, 31, and the couple’s two young boys.
Detectives found evidence in his apartment indicating that the victims were killed about three weeks ago and the bodies were dumped elsewhere.
Detectives located her body late Friday when they contacted the Los Angeles Coroner’s office to see if the facility had any unidentified female bodies. They learned that county workers found one that appeared to have stab wounds on April 25 in the unincorporated Los Angeles County area of East Valinda, police Sgt. Dan Adams said.
The couple’s 4-month-old and 2-year-old sons remain missing, Adams said.
Two Los Angeles County Department of Public Works crew members were working in the area of MacLaren Street and Alderton Avenue when they spotted a tarp with something beneath is and noticed a foul, suspicious odor coming from it, Los Angeles County Department of Public Works spokeswoman Kerjon Lee said at the time.
The workers left the tarp as it was found and called authorities, who responded to the scene and discovered the body, he said.
Public works officials added that the area where the body was found is known as a “hot spot” for illegal dumping of trash and other items.
Los Angeles County Department of Coroner’s investigators performed an autopsy on the body.
“The cause of death was homicide due to multiple stab wounds,” coroner’s Lt. Fred Corral said.
Fernando Limas came to police’s attention after he moved out of the apartment he shared with Contreras and someone sent to clean the carpets found them covered in blood.
Fernando Limas was spotted in the Costa Mesa area late Thursday afternoon. When police tried to stop him, he fled on what became a freeway chase that ended near the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint near San Onofre. A spike strip was used to flatten the tires on his Nissan 350Z.
Adams said evidence from the apartment indicated the victims were killed after an altercation.
Investigators searched surrounding counties and used cadaver-sniffing dogs to search the nearby Brea dump in case the bodies were placed in a trash container at the apartment complex.
However, they didn’t find any bodies.
PHOTO (AP) of Shazer Limas courtesy of the Orange Police Department.