A Santa Ana man has been arrested for the murder of Sarai Alcaraz, a 23-year-old Long Beach resident whose body was found in a Newport Beach office building early Tuesday morning.
The Newport Beach Police Department received a call at 12:11 a.m. on Tuesday from a female friend of Alcaraz, stating that Alcaraz had stopped returning her calls and texts, explained NBPD Spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella. A male friend who had also lost contact with Alcaraz was in Newport looking for her.
“Her friends were concerned for her welfare,” Manzella said.
The friends had some idea as to where Alcaraz could be, Manzella said. The young woman was last seen at an office building on Campus Drive about an hour or two earlier, according to a police statement released on Wednesday.
“The callers had searched for the young woman, but were unable to find her,” the press release states.
Officers responded and began to search the area. Shortly after 1:30 a.m., they located the Alcaraz, deceased, inside the building at 5030 Campus Drive.
Police investigated it as a homicide, although the cause of death has not yet been determined.
On the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 30, detectives responded to the city of Santa Ana to serve two residential search
warrants and to attempt to locate Mr. Nieto Hernandez, whom they had identified as a suspect in this case.
Shortly before 11:30 a.m., they conducted a vehicle stop on a black sedan on Alton Avenue near Bristol Street. Mr. Hernandez, a passenger in the vehicle, was subsequently arrested for the murder of Ms. Alcaraz. The arrestee is a 29-year-old resident of Santa Ana who is currently employed in the janitorial services industry. There are no outstanding suspects in this investigation.
Several news sources including KTLA have reported that Alcarez was an escort hired by Hernandez, who was a janitor at the office building where her body was found.
This is an ongoing investigation and no further information is being released at this time.
The Newport Beach Police Department is asking anyone with additional information to call the Police Department’s hotline at 1-800-550-NBPD. Messages may be left anonymously.