A Santa Clara man allegedly confessed to killing Maria Orozco earlier this month and then disposing of her body in a black garbage bag in a Sunnyvale neighborhood, according to a court document. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has filed one count of murder, with an enhancement for use of a deadly weapon, against Feliciano Valencia-Santiago, 47, for the murder of Orozco, a 46-year-old San Jose resident, in a house in the 800 block of Revere Drive in Sunnyvale.
The house is less than a mile from the 800 block of Ticonderoga Drive, where on June 5 Orozco’s body was found in a large, loosely cinched garbage bag between some shrubs. The residence burned down in December and Valencia-Santiago was hired as a day laborer by the homeowner to help her clean up and move her belongings, according to the court document.
The Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office determined that the cause of Orozco’s death was trauma to the head. Orozco’s cellphone records indicate that the day before she was found dead, she received 22 calls from Valencia-Santiago. But from May 22 to June 6, she received 13 calls from him.
The nature of their relationship was not reflected in the statement of facts submitted by police. Surveillance video on a Valley Transportation Authority bus shows Orozco getting off the bus at about 7:10 p.m. on June 4. On Friday night, detectives tracked Valencia-Santiago down and arrested him in Santa Clara based on leads and after recovering physical evidence allegedly linking him to the crime.
He allegedly confessed to the murder to police during the arrest. He remains in custody, with no bail allowed. Valencia-Santiago is expected to plead to one count of murder on June 27 in Palo Alto, according to the district attorney’s office. If convicted as charged, he faces a maximum of 26 years to life in prison.
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