A man arrested on suspicion of killing a 24-year-old Nipomo woman may have been deported to Mexico in August.
Julio Cesar Alonso, 24, of Nipomo was arrested Thursday and booked on suspicion of one count of murder in the stabbing death of Paulina Ramirez-Diaz, who was believed to be his girlfriend, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.
“During the course of the investigation, detectives were able to gather enough evidence to link Alonso to her death,” sheriff’s spokesman Tony Cipolla said.
When asked by The Tribune, the county Sheriff’s Office and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement said they were looking into Alonso’s legal status but weren’t able to respond by the end of the day on Thursday.
During the course of the investigation, detectives were able gather enough evidence to link Alonso to her death.
Tony Cipolla, Sheriff’s spokesman
Ramirez-Diaz suffered a fatal stab wound to her neck early Wednesday morning and was found dead when deputies responded to a home in the 600 block of Pomeroy Road after receiving a 911 call about 3 a.m.
The death was initially called “suspicious” by sheriff’s investigators and now has been ruled a homicide. Alonso was detained for questioning and later booked into County Jail on suspicion of a single count of murder.
A man with the same first and last name, age and appearance who was identified as from Santa Maria, was the subject of an Aug. 10, 2016, article on immigration enforcement published by The Desert Sun of Palm Springs.
The article featured the story of Julio Alonso, age 23 as of August 2016, of Santa Maria, who had spent two years in prison before he was arrested on a parole violation, detained and deported to Mexico, where he hadn’t lived for 16 years.
The article also noted Alonso had a “4-year-old son, who lives with Alonso’s girlfriend in Santa Maria. Both (the girlfriend and child) are U.S. citizens.”
After news of the arrest, Facebook users questioned whether Alonso was the same man featured in the Desert Sun article.
On Thursday, friends of Ramirez-Diaz expressed their sadness and condolences on Facebook, saying they were shocked about her death.
We had some mutual friends and I’ve honestly never heard anyone say anything bad of her. She was liked by a lot of people.
Anthony Trevino, friend
Anthony Trevino, a friend who graduated from Pioneer Valley High School with Ramirez-Diaz in 2011, told The Tribune through Facebook that she was a “genuinely sweet person.”
“(Ramirez-Diaz) never said a lot but always greeted everyone with a smile,” Trevino said. “We had some mutual friends, and I’ve honestly never heard anyone say anything bad of her. She was liked by a lot of people.”
According to Ramirez-Diaz’s Facebook page, she had attended Allan Hancock College and worked at Pizza Hut. Her page also noted that she was “in a relationship” as of June 26, 2014. The profile of her page shows her smiling with Alonso.
There are no other outstanding suspects in the case, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The investigation is continuing, and anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Detective Division at 805-781-4500.