A 26-year-old man has been charged with murder for the death of a Santa Maria woman found fatally shot on Easter Sunday in Orcutt.
Jorge Fernandez Tovar of Lompoc appeared in Santa Barbara County Superior Court on Friday morning for an arraignment hearing in connection with the death of Elyse Marie Erwin, 28.
She was found with fatal wounds in a parking lot on the 100 block of Goodwin Road just before 7 a.m. Sunday, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department officials said.
Judge John Fisher ordered the defendant to return to court May 12 and declined to set bail. He remains in custody at Santa Barbara County Jail.
Tovar, the father of Erwin’s young daughter, was ordered to stay away from the girl under a criminal protective order signed by the judge Friday morning. The defendant was immediately identified as a person of interest and was taken into custody Wednesday while attending a custody hearing, the Sheriff’s Department said.
However, the arrest was not reported by the Sheriff’s Department until Friday, after the arraignment.
The child is now in the custody of family member, authorities said.
A GoFundMe page has been started to help her family. As of Friday morning, it had raised more than $12,400, exceeding the $5,000 goal.
“She was a beautiful and wonderful loving woman, mother and friend that touched every single one of our hearts,” the post says.