* Charles Rittenhouse husband of slain wife Segundia Allen to appear in court
Published by Staff Writer on September 2, 2010
The husband of one of two women found dead at his Vallejo home earlier this week will be arraigned in Solano County Superior Court on Friday afternoon on charges of possessing explosives. Charles Rittenhouse, 72, was taken into custody late Tuesday afternoon as he returned home from work. The decomposed bodies of his wife, 60-year-old Segundia Allen, and her friend, 63-year-old Marcaria Smart, were found at the Upland Court home.Autopsies were performed on the women today, but investigators are awaiting toxicology results to determine the cause of death.Authorities who searched the home discovered chemicals used to create explosives in addition to the bodies, police said. The materials found included depleted uranium, a police spokesman said today.Rittenhouse is now being held in Solano County Jail on charges of possession of materials with the intent to create a destructive device and possessing a device or explosive without a permit, according to the jail booking log.He is being held on more than $2 million bail, jail records show.The women were two of four people found dead in a bizarre string of killings in which many questions remain unanswered. At a news conference this afternoon, Vallejo police Lt. Abel Tenorio said detectives are working to create a timeline of events behind the murders.”It’s a puzzle we’re trying to put together,” Tenorio said. “Not all the pieces are there.”The four murders appear to be somehow linked to 38-year-old Efren Valdemoro, who was shot dead by California Highway Patrol officers after a chase Tuesday night. Valdemoro was killed at a market in Richmond after he came at officers with a meat cleaver, according to the CHP.Valdemoro is believed to have killed 73-year-old Ricardo Sales, who was bludgeoned to death Friday morning in his Crepe Myrtle Drive home in Hercules.Sales’ body was discovered Saturday when investigating officers responded to a missing-person report about him and his son.His son, 35-year-old Frederick Sales, was still missing today.Investigators now believe Sales was killed between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., when police received reports of loud music at the home. The Sales’ landlord and housemate, 46-year-old Cindy Tran, had been dating Valdemoro for about two years, according to her co-worker at a Vallejo beauty salon.After CHP officers shot and killed Valdemoro, they found Tran strangled in the front passenger seat of the car he had been driving.Hercules police spokeswoman Michelle Harrington said today there had been some sort of conversation between Valdemoro and the Sales father and son.Valdemoro had either accused one of them of being romantically involved with Tran or had told them to stay out of his relationship, Harrington said. Later, on Aug. 22, the father and son had approached Valdemoro at the Hercules home, and a physical fight had ensued.”In that particular instance, the father and son were the aggressors and Valdemoro was the victim,” Harrington said.Ricardo Sales was murdered five days later, Harrington said.The connection between the Vallejo killings and Sales’ murder is not yet clear.Valdemoro had stayed with Allen and her husband on and off during the past 10 years, Tenorio said Wednesday. He sometimes drove the couple’s white Cadillac Escalade — often without permission. Allen and Smart were last seen alive in the Escalade. The car was found Wednesday morning parked in a commercial park in Hercules.
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