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UPDATED: Suspicious Fire Death Under Investigation at Murrieta Apartment

An unidentified woman was found dead following the discovery of a fire in a downstairs unit Wednesday morning at the Waterstone Apartments on Hancock Avenue in Murrieta.

UPDATE 5:35 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1:

The Murrieta Police Department continued Thursday to put major resources toward investigating a suspicious death discovered when a fire broke out Wednesday in a Murrieta apartment.

While the investigation into the circumstances of the death in apartment V-103 at the Waterstone Apartments progresses, releasing specifics to the public through the media could jeopardize their work, Murrieta police Lt. Tony Conrad told Patch.

Authorities have not yet confirmed the identity of the victim, though a neighbor told Patch the person who lived there was a thin, African American woman.

"The Police Department is still awaiting official identification of the victim from the coroner's office," said Conrad, who oversees the department's detective bureau.

Patch has left inquiries with the Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner's Office, an employee of which said the body was "charred."

The fire was reported at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday. Fire and police officials arrived on scene within minutes to knock down the blaze. When searching for victims, a deceased body was found, authorities said. A 3- to 4-year-old boy was rescued by a neighbor, according to authorities.

As information becomes available, Murrieta Patch will continue to update this story.

UPDATE 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31:

The crime scene at Waterstone Apartments in Murrieta was broken down at about 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, though Murrieta police would not be releasing further details in the case until at least tomorrow, Lt. Tony Conrad confirmed.

Mandatory evacuations of nearby apartment units were lifted, Conrad told Patch.

ORIGINAL POST:

Murrieta police and fire investigators were on scene Wednesday of an alleged suspicious death in connection with a fire that broke out in a unit at Waterstone Apartments, 24850 Hancock Avenue in Murrieta.

The fire was reported at 6:45 a.m. and fire and police officials arrived at 6:49 a.m., according to Murrieta police Lt. Tony Conrad.

Authorities discovered apartment V-103 was "engulfed with smoke billowing from an open window," Conrad said, in a news release.

Firefighters entered the apartment and knocked out the fire. While searching for victims, they found a deceased woman, determined to be in her 30s, according to Murrieta fire Spokesperson Matt Corelli.

"The first crew arrived and found smoke and fire coming from three windows of a downstairs apartment," Corelli said in a news release. "Crews stopped the fire's progress and reported knockdown twelve minutes after they arrived."

Prior to crews' arrival, Corelli said a resident pulled a child from the apartment. The child, whose age was not provided, was treated by firefighter-paramedics at the scene and transported to a local hospital, he said.

One firefighter suffered injuries in the fire; he was expected to recover, Corelli said.

"Firefighters contained the fire to the unit were it began and remained on scene to check for nearby extension into other apartment units," Corelli said.

Based on preliminary investigation, police and fire officials have deemed the death suspicious.

"Murrieta police investigators along with investigators from Murrieta fire are on scene working this case as a suspicious death," Conrad said.

A large area surrounding the damaged apartment was cordoned off, and the Murrieta police and fire mobile command unit was brought to the scene.

Multiple detectives, firefighters and sheriff's personnel were on location.

Residents nearby were evacuated and unable to drive their cars if they were parked inside the taped-off area, Conrad confirmed.

A neighbor, Jessica Ewald, said she lived two doors down from the fire-ravaged apartment. She told Patch she was ordered not to drive her car, so she was borrowing her mother's.

She described the woman who lived there as thin and African American, though police have not confirmed her identity.

The investigation was expected to continue throughout the day, at which time more details may be released.

This story is developing. Stay with Patch for updates.

Maggie Avants (Editor) November 03, 2012 at 06:46 PM
There has been an arrest made in the case: http://patch.com/A-zpys
Becca November 04, 2012 at 01:06 AM
The website for donations is www.gofundme.com/1gakk4
Jenn November 05, 2012 at 03:59 AM
We were in the Waterstone Apts office today and they said they would also take donations of clothes, etc for Malachi.
S November 05, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Hello Becca, I am a cousin of M's father. I know your heart is in the right place and I know Shanae was a good friend of yours but she was like family to us and we treated her as so. We were unaware of her financial difficulties but if we were aware we most defiantly would have help in anyway possible. I use to text Shanae to check on her and M but she never mentioned she needed anything. My family is very close and we don't believe in leaving anyone behind. If she would have mentioned she needed anything and I wasn't able to get it then someone in my family would. But you fail to mention that M's paternal aunts were sending her things for him. Due to the situation with his father, he wasn't able to contribute as much as he wanted but in times past he took good care of him and her both. Please be mindful that his family as well as her are reading these comments. We do not wish to have any bad blood or feelings toward anyone. Our one priority is to help M and to help Shane's family through this difficult time. But since you do. Not know all I the details to the situation with M right now please respect our family as well as hers. Even though you say " with all due respect" on our end its disrespectful. We appreciate and commend you for all that you are doing for Shanae and M both. We thank you and wish you well. God bless.
Becca November 05, 2012 at 06:14 PM
I say with all due respect because i really dont mean to be disrespectful. I know that m dad loves him verymuch and its proprobably eating at him. If you didnt know i was one of the people trying to help a year ago. I dont have a # to reach you so that leaves this as my forum. I just really dont understand the purpose of sabotaging a fundraiser that was set up to cover her funeral cost and or take care of the bbaby. Especially when it was talked about approved and apprieciated by her mom
E/Really=ERIN November 06, 2012 at 03:44 AM
i want you all to know that myself Erin and Becca who love shanae n M very much. It was are idea to put on a fundriser because shanae was a really good loving caring person who would help others in need who thought that fundsraisers for REMEMBERING the dead was a good idea. Becca and i know shanae very well ive known shanae and the father longer. i dont appreciate you guys taking a good thing and bashing it. you can go to gofundme look it up its a asecure website its not a fake. To A's family and M's aunt ro. I didnt mean any disrespect by it . i some what understand what ur talking about BUT seeing as you can ask M's dad ask who taught M to ride his bike to play basketball bc Nae didnt know how to play who watch M for a period of time til Midnight thats right i DID. whose house did he stay at whos kids did
E/Really=ERIN November 06, 2012 at 03:44 AM
he play w beccas we love them as much as u do theres nothing were not really to do and that i havent already ask M's dad whos on his papers me n Nae ive been here since day one known both of them for 4 yrs who helped potty train M we did who found out that all u gotta do is add ketup to M's food n he eats it up we did . I know we not blood i know we not "family" but we've been here since day one and besides all the neg. we still we be. please dont be hard on Becca as its both of us But for everyones piece of mind we are shutting down the fundraiser all proceeds goes to nae mom and as far as the car wash im undecided. I do want to say my friend in no mean was a thug the father is not a thug! Someone holding down 2 jobs and going to nursing school while being a single mother IM sorry id look at and think WOWnwhat a BEAUTIFUL YOUNG LADY with a good head on her shoulders. not think wow she attracts thugs. shame on u ! i can say that Nae was 23 young im 26 i have not gone through college ive never been in Nae shoes she was a very determind young lady that if she was in need she tell u no i got
E/Really=ERIN November 06, 2012 at 03:45 AM
this i can do this and i will do this she didnt take hand out she if u called and ask if she need of couse shes going to say no she had alot of pride and did everything for that lil boy . she would try giving money bc i watched M and i walk a way and shed hide it in my purse like i didnt know but on her way home id get a call its her shaking her head saying why imma get u back . and i love that about her bc she knew i wouldnt take it and i knew she didnt haveit to give. but she wanted to because thats the kind of person she was. I miss u more then u know and i will always be sorry i didnt do more. I do what both families to know that even through u might not me some of the family members do and right now i love u all for there for M and for everyone coming together in this time of need and i know is looking down on us with one of her big beautiful smiles shaking her head. she was an amazing woman who by all means didnt bring this on her self nor did she ever in a million years deserve this! She will always be in our hearts
Tom November 06, 2012 at 11:52 PM
@E/really=ERIN I respect the fact that you and the victim were like family, but please learn how to type before someone throws a dictionary at you!
Jaime November 07, 2012 at 07:37 AM
Really Tom? Give me a break. This has nothing to do with Erins spelling. Obviously you have missed the point
Jch November 10, 2012 at 02:31 AM
well said!!
Jch November 10, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Just in case the community is wondering and looking to help, I wanted to let you know that the Murrieta PD has started a Trust Fund for M (first inital used for privacy), the victims 3 year old son who was saved from the fire by his neighbor. I spoke with the officer today who created this fund for him, and she stated that in her 12 years of law enforcement, no person has tugged at her heartstrings the way M did the day of this tragedy. This is a testiment to the type of young man, that his mother, and family have raised him to be. There are several benefits currently scheduled with more to come... Please see below: Chick-Fil-A 11/19/2012 5:00pm-8:00pm (donating a portion of total sales to fund) Pump It Up 11/29/2012 4:45pm- 6:45pm ($10 unlimited play, drinks pizza- 70% donated to fund!!) Chili's 12/04/2012 all day (portion of sales donated) ....Please help out with anything you can. You can also donate directly to the fund if you would rather!! Info is on the Murrieta PD website. Waterstone Apartments is also taking clothing, food and toy donations for any and all families that were impacted by this loss, including M! Feel free to drop off items to the Leasing Office 7 dys a week 10am-6pm 1 of 2
Jch November 10, 2012 at 03:00 AM
2 of 2 I am proud to say that I knew Shanae,M, and Shane's mother. I pray every day and night that we can all find some peace and sense of community through this loss! When you leave comments on here, I ask that you consider her son, who may one day look this up, and find this exact article. Before you post on hear say, or on rumors, consider the legacy that you are creating for her son! Bottom line M, if you ever read this, your mother was a wonderful woman, who wanted nothing more than to provide everything she could for you. Know that the negative info and rumors are not to be believed. She had a smile that could brighten anyone's day, and an incredible work ethic! Those are the FACTS!
Jch November 10, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Just in case the community is wondering and looking to help, I wanted to let you know that the Murrieta PD has started a Trust Fund for M (first inital used for privacy), the victims 3 year old son who was saved from the fire by his neighbor. I spoke with the officer today who created this fund for him, and she stated that in her 12 years of law enforcement, no person has tugged at her heartstrings the way M did the day of this tragedy. This is a testiment to the type of young man, that his mother, and family have raised him to be. There are several benefits currently scheduled with more to come... Please see below: Chick-Fil-A 11/19/2012 5:00pm-8:00pm (donating a portion of total sales to fund) Pump It Up 11/29/2012 4:45pm- 6:45pm ($10 unlimited play, drinks pizza- 70% donated to fund!!) Chili's 12/04/2012 all day (portion of sales donated) ....Please help out with anything you can. You can also donate directly to the fund if you would rather!! Info is on the Murrieta PD website. Waterstone Apartments is also taking clothing, food and toy donations for any and all families that were impacted by this loss, including M! Feel free to drop off items to the Leasing Office 7 days a week 10am-6pm
Jch November 10, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Just in case the community is wondering and looking to help, I wanted to let you know that the Murrieta PD has started a Trust Fund for M (first inital used for privacy), the victims 3 year old son who was saved from the fire by his neighbor. I spoke with the officer today who created this fund for him, and she stated that in her 12 years of law enforcement, no person has tugged at her heartstrings the way M did the day of this tragedy. This is a testiment to the type of young man, that his mother, and family have raised him to be. There are several benefits currently scheduled with more to come... Please see below: Chick-Fil-A 11/19/2012 5:00pm-8:00pm (donating a portion of total sales to fund) Pump It Up 11/29/2012 4:45pm- 6:45pm ($10 unlimited play, drinks pizza- 70% donated to fund!!) Chili's 12/04/2012 all day (portion of sales donated) ....Please help out with anything you can. You can also donate directly to the fund if you would rather!! Info is on the Murrieta PD website. Waterstone Apartments is also taking clothing, food and toy donations for any and all families that were impacted by this loss, including M! Feel free to drop off items to the Leasing Office 7 days a week 10am-6pm
Jch November 10, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Some of your statements are ridiculous. How is it that "These apartments have attracted crime and trouble" if police happen to be chasing people who run into the community and hide, or if they are making a stop, people pull into the community and take off running? That is not the residents at the complex causing the problem. I seriously doubt also that out of 6 communities that you lived in that there were never problems. You said it... "crime happens everywhere..." Not just at ONE community you happen to live next to that has over 1000 residents on the avg. and is situated on a corner intersection.
Joe F November 10, 2012 at 04:32 AM
Jch - To be clear, I didn't state that in the "communities" where I lived before, "there were never problems." I said none had problems like this, as frequently as this. What I meant was, the complexes I lived in before didn't have prostitutes attracting rapists, or thugs in the pool area brandishing firearms, or residents fleeing from police when they attempted to serve warrants. Infact, police never even had to serve warrants on the residents of those complexes, and there were just as many residents as the Waterstone. A perfect example is the Silverado Apartments on Los Alamos and Vista Murrieta - there are more residents there than at the Waterstone, on a busier street (which you claim is part of the problem at the Waterstone) and there is about 1/10th of the crime. The type of crime that is to be expected in virtually any complex is petty - vehicle break-ins, loud parties, domestic/neighborly disputes, etc. What is not normal for an apartment complex? How about homicide, arson, prostitution, rape, terrorist threats, and weapons violations. Anyone with a smartphone can listen to Murrieta PD's radio transmissions and know exactly what is going on in their city and when. You'll immediately learn that police respond to the Waterstone Apartments sometimes 3 or 4 times a day for all kinds of trouble. FInally, please take note that I mentioned the suspects from the first pursuit WERE residents of the complex and were not simply fleeing into the community to hide.
Jch November 10, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Joe I think you are missing the point...which it that things happen EVERYWHERE! Just because you spout off information about ONE community does not mean that things don't happen elsewhere...and yes, things just like this fire! Maybe you are just unaware of anything outside of your immediate neighbor, Waterstone. I do have friends who serve on the PD, and there are things such as gang activity, and fights, and arrests, and wepons that happen in other communities, even Silverado! I had a friend who lived there and broke her lease to get out it was so bad. Just don't be naive to the fact that crime is something that everyone deals with at some point. It's not only impacting one location or apartment complex! Those who live in Waterstone's community are not problems. Many of the Waterstone residents have even commented on here that they do not have issues or problems and have lived there a while.
Jch November 10, 2012 at 05:17 AM
Many neighbors, who live RIGHT by her, did not hear anything Becca. One statement is made and ran with by press. If there was someone who heard something, we will never know why they chose not to get involved or help...But that person will have to live with knowing they did nothing and action may have prevented a life lost. I pray for the person who made that statement, because I could only imagine how much guilt I would feel if I were in that persons shoes. :( Stay strong...(I know it's maybe easier said then done though).
Joe F November 10, 2012 at 05:56 AM
Jennifer - clearly, you're missing my point. I understand your point that crime occurs everywhere, and I even reinforced that point. The point of mine that you are failing to see is that the Waterstone "community" attracts more crime than others, especially for a city as safe as Murrieta. I also have friends who work for Murrieta PD, and I am far more aware of the crime that takes place in this city than you think I am. You mentioned that several residents have posted comments on here that the complex is not bad. You're also clearly aware of the numerous HORRIBLE reviews on Apartment Reviews, as you've personally responded to at least one of them. Reviews from over a dozen residents that describe excessive crime, including fights involving 20 or more people, residents being attacked in the pool area, cars being broken into and vandalized, boyfriends hitting girlfriends, residents smoking tons of pot, and drunk residents smashing over and over into parked cars. One review even says police officers were "surprised a that a normal family lived in such a ghetto complex," and several more go on to describe the apartments as ghetto and say it was the worst apartment living experience they've ever had. In case you need to refresh your memory, or if anyone else reading this thread would like to see my references, take a look for yourself: http://www.apartmentratings.com/rate/CA-Murrieta-Waterstone-at-Murrieta-Apartments-formerly-Los-Alamos-1541105.html
Joe F November 10, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Or you can read all of the reviews here: http://www.apartmentratings.com/rate/CA-Murrieta-Waterstone-at-Murrieta-Apartments-formerly-Los-Alamos.html There are dozens of them, but some of the more alarming ones are: The one from 9/7/12, which states that there are loud parties, lots of police activity, and drugs everywhere, and that the reviewer and her husband were attacked in the pool area. The one from 10/31/12 that says "this place is the ghetto." The one from 2/29/12 that says residents constantly smoke marijuana, causing smoke to enter the reviewer's nine month old child's room. But I think the one from 11/3/11 does the best job of summarizing the crime in the complex. Neighbors smoking pot, fights involving 20 people at 3:00 am, neighbors being arrested for warrants, cars being vandalized, drunk drivers crashing into parked cars, and police officers being surprised about "a normal family living in these ghetto apartments." http://www.apartmentratings.com/rate/CA-Murrieta-Waterstone-at-Murrieta-Apartments-formerly-Los-Alamos-1342794.html
DeannaLHL November 14, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Just to verify, this is the Chilis in Murrieta correct?
Becca November 17, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I miss her soo much! Her service was beautiful! A lot of friends and family came together... we laughed and cried in each others arms. It was great to see our Murrieta police dept there. The best part was to hold shanaes beautiful bubba. For those that have been concerned about him I want you to know hes doing ok. His smile and his love is whats keeping everyone going. For the female officer... you have to be an amazing person for a normally shy boy around strangers to light up the way he did when he saw you. I have the picture from last night, I would like to give you one.
Chez E November 17, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Sure I'd like one, thanks that's a nice gesture. I'm sorry about your friend :(
Chez E November 18, 2012 at 10:07 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyZnzYa4q6Q
Chez E November 18, 2012 at 10:20 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyZnzYa4q6Q
Brenda November 20, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Becca, arent you on the patch alot when it comes to someones death? And you always seem to know them so up close and personal? I mean excuse me if I am wrong, and I certainly could be, but seems you were involved with quite a few, and fund raising? Perhaps Ms. Wanda's death also? Gosh maybe you do know all these people, I don't know. Was just wondering dear.
ERIN November 20, 2012 at 02:29 AM
first of all no nice words so imma say blank you u = you type at work on your touch phone and weather or not i can spell really isnt the issue here. If this was for a resume or for a paper or school paper and i was getting cked= checked/graded on my spelling then i would care but really dont and not only that have u=you ever heard of abbreviating??
LHJ November 20, 2012 at 03:41 AM
And what difference does it make to you, Brenda, whether or not someone has known many of the people who have died. Is it now a crime to be a social person? Or is it a crime in your book to care about so many people? Isn't it you who likes to get on these comments sections and talk about how people shouldn't have a go at other people, but should just send out condolences? I think it is you who likes to do that.. Why are you now going after Becca? Please take into consideration that some people pay attention to the double standard.
Becca November 20, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Brenda instead of diarrhea of the mouth don't you think maybe you should havr some sympathy. I've lost 4 people in the last couple of months. The latest being someone I was really close with. I am a social person with a job that I meet a lot of people so dont get on here trying to blast me when you don't know me or my relations to anyone. As far as a fundraiser for ms wanda... no that's not me. I don't know who that is.

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