The man accused of killing Paso Robles resident Nancy Woodrum entered no plea at an arraignment Friday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.
Superior Court Judge Ginger Garrett continued the arraignment for Carlo Alberto Fuentes Flores at the request of the defense, represented at the hearing by the Public Defender’s Office.
Authorities say Fuentes Flores, 42, killed Woodrum, 62, who had been missing for seven months when her body was recovered on Tuesday in a remote spot off Highway 58.
Sheriff’s detectives interviewed Fuentes Flores on Tuesday, and he led investigators to her body on the same day, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The District Attorney’s Office filed a complaint in court Thursday for premeditated murder. The complaint said Fuentes Flores allegedly raped Woodrum and burglarized her rural Paso Robles home.
The complaint includes two allegations of special circumstances for having allegedly committed murder while engaged in the commission of rape and residential burglary. The allegations mean that prosecutors could possibly seek the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole at a later date, according to Assistant District Attorney Eric Dobroth.
The District Attorney’s Office has not yet stated whether it intends to seek either.
Neighbors last saw her alive on the afternoon of May 4, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.
Woodrum’s family members reported her missing on May 5 after they stopped by her home and were unable to find her. A search-and-rescue team on May 6 combed the area around Woodrum’s property but couldn’t locate her.
Woodrum, a hair stylist, owned The Strand Salon in downtown Paso Robles with her daughter, and had worked in the beauty industry since the late 1990s, according to a May Tribune story.
Sheriff Ian Parkinson said at a Wednesday news conference that Woodrum and Fuentes Flores were acquainted because the man had done painting work on her property.
Fuentes Flores is due back in court for a further arraignment Jan. 3.
Also on Friday, the Sheriff’s Office issued a news release asking for the public’s help in the investigation. The agency asks anyone who may have been in contact with Fuentes Flores to contact the Sheriff’s Detective Division at 805-781-4500.