The Riverside County Coroner’s office identified a woman who perished in a fire at the Waterstone at Murrieta apartment complex on Wednesday as 23-year-old Shanae Wesley.
A coroner’s official declined to offer the cause of the woman’s death by phone.
Murrieta Police Department spokesman Lt. Tony Conrad said that every detective in the department is working on the case and that details will be released to the public once the investigation has been completed.
Law enforcement officials have characterized the circumstances surrounding the woman’s death as “suspicious.”
A resident who lived in the same building as Wesley at the Waterstone Apartments on Hancock Ave. where the fire broke out said he heard tires squealing in the parking lot at about 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
“I also heard glass breaking and was awakened by a neighbor pounding on my door yelling at me to evacuate,” Brandon O’Brien, 28, explained.
“I went outside and the flames were so big, there was no way to help anyone inside,” he said.
O’Brien added he has lived at the complex for eight months but did not know the occupants of the burned out apartment.
Another witness who was walking her dogs at about 6:30 a.m. said she saw flames erupt ferociously from the ground floor apartment.
“There was nothing anyone could do, the flames were too intense,” nearby resident Tina Patten told SWRNN.
Patten said she did not know the occupants but that a woman and a man believed to be her boyfriend could be heard arguing on other occasions.
She added that the woman’s car appeared to be missing.
According to reports from the scene, Wesley’s 4-year-old son was not injured in the blaze.
This is a developing story. Stay with SWRNN for more details as they come available.