Man accused of killing live-in girlfriend pleads not guilty to m - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Man accused of killing live-in girlfriend pleads not guilty to murder charge

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VISTA (CNS) - An Oceanside man accused of killing the mother of his two young children and stashing her body under a bed in the garage of their home pleaded not guilty Monday to a murder charge.

Arturo Salazar, 24, was ordered held on $5 million bail in connection with the death of 21-year-old Edith Garcia, his live-in girlfriend.

About noon last Thursday, officers went to the couple's residence in the 300 block of Leeward Court to check on the welfare of Garcia at the request of family members who had been unable to contact her, Oceanside police Sgt. Matt Christensen said.

Salazar answered the door and said he did not know the woman's whereabouts, Christensen said. The officers then searched the premises and found Garcia's body hidden from view in an area being used as a makeshift bedroom, the sergeant said.

Detectives questioned Salazar, who eventually told them he had killed Garcia during an argument on Wednesday, Christensen alleged.

Authorities turned over the couple's children to the custody of their grandparents. It was unclear if the youngsters had witnessed their mother's slaying or its aftermath.

Salazar faces 26 years to life in prison if convicted of murder with use of a knife, said Deputy District Attorney Ryan Saunders. A readiness conference was set for June 25 and a preliminary hearing for June 27.

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