Two brothers were charged today with the 2009 strangling-murder of an unidentified woman after being linked to the crime through DNA. Gabino Valdivia-Guzman, 31, Costa Mesa, and Zenaido Valdivia-Guzman, 24, Santa Ana, are each charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder with sentencing enhancements for murder during the commission of a kidnapping. The defendants face a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. They are being held without bail and are scheduled to be arraigned today, Nov. 9, 2010, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.
The victim, Jane Doe, has yet to be identified. Law enforcement is seeking the public’s help in identifying her. Anyone with information about the victim’s identity is asked to contact Irvine Police Detective Vicky Hurtado at (949) 724-7194, or Supervising District Attorney Investigator Helen Moreno at (714) 347-8492.
Late on the night of Sept. 4, 2009, brothers Zenaido Valdivia-Guzman and Gabino Valdivia-Guzman are accused of picking up Jane Doe in Santa Ana. Gabino Valdivia-Guzman is accused of driving the van and Zenaido Valdivia-Guzman is accused of sitting in the back, out of sight from the victim. Jane Doe began to panic after getting into the van and discovering the second man inside. When Jane Doe began to scream and attempted to get away, Zenaido Valdivia-Guzman is accused of pulling her into the back of the van and repeatedly beating her in the face and neck as she struggled to escape. Gabino Valdivia-Guzman is accused of continuing to drive as Zenaido Valdivia-Guzman physically assaulted the victim.
Zenaido Valdivia-Guzman is accused of strangling and murdering Jane Doe. Gabino Valdivia-Guzman is accused of driving his brother and the victim to an industrial business parking lot at the 1800 block of Kettering in Irvine. The two defendants are accused of dumping the victim’s body in the parking lot, dousing her with gasoline from a canister in the van, and setting her body on fire. They are accused of taking the victim’s cell phone and fleeing the scene.
Early on the morning of Sept. 5, 2009, Jane Doe’s partially burned body was discovered by employees showing up for work. IPD responded to the scene and began investigating this case. Evidence was collected at the scene, including DNA from under Jane Doe’s fingernails. That DNA sample was entered into the Orange County Crime Lab database.
On Nov. 5, 2010, Zenaido Valdivia-Guzman’s DNA was linked to the murder stemming from a 2009 Orange County misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence. IPD detectives located Zenaido Valdivia-Guzman on Nov. 6, 2010, in a shopping center on the corner of Main Street and McFadden Avenue in Santa Ana, where he was taken into custody. His older brother, Gabino Valdivia-Guzman, was with him. IPD determined through subsequent investigation that Gabino Valdivia-Guzman was also involved in the murder and he was also taken into custody.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.