VISTA (CNS) - A 19-year-old man accused of killing an acquaintance during an alcohol-fueled fight, then dumping the victim's body in Valley Center and mentioning the slaying on the social media app Snapchat, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a charge of murder.
Salvador Alejandro Sanchez of Escondido was arrested Sunday on suspicion of murdering Maithem Alfuraiji, 20, three days earlier. The cause and circumstances surrounding his death have not been made public.
Sanchez allegedly "dumped the victim's body and buried it in tall grass" in an area off East Paradise Creek Lane in Valley Center, Escondido police Lt. Justin Murphy said.
On Saturday, friends of the victim saw Snapchat posts from the suspect alluding to a possible homicide and alerted the San Diego County Sheriff's department, which in turn notified the Escondido Police Department.
Sanchez posted text statements, but not incriminating photos or video, police said.
Without elaborating, Deputy District Attorney Claudia Plascencia said details of the case were still emerging. A preliminary hearing was set for May 16.
The body of Alfuraiji, an Escondido resident, was discovered Sunday. Sanchez was taken into custody in the vicinity of Ash Street and Grand Avenue that afternoon, Murphy said.
Anyone with information on the case was asked to call Detective John O'Donnell at (760) 839-4756, or the Escondido Police Department's anonymous tip line at (760) 743-8477.
Sanchez -- who's being held on $2 million bail -- faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
He will be back in court May 11 for a readiness conference.