Suspect in Orcutt Easter Sunday murder arrested

Jorge Tovar is father of Erwin's 6-year-old

Suspect arrested, charged in Easter...

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Authorities have arrested 26-year-old Lompoc resident Jorge Tovar Fernandez, who goes by the last name Tovar, for the murder of Elyse Marie Erwin in Orcutt on April 16.

Erwin was shot in the head and killed early Easter Sunday after visiting a friend in the 100 block of Goodwin Road, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office. Her body was later discovered on the ground next to her car by a resident.

During the investigation, Sheriff's detectives determined Tovar, the father of Erwin's 6-year-old daughter, was a person of interest in the case.

Authorities located Tovar at his Lompoc home and detained him for questioning, the Sheriff's office said. He was arrested on April 19 when he showed up to a child custody hearing at the Santa Maria courthouse.

Tovar was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of murder and is being held without bail. He was arraigned in Santa Maria Superior Court on Friday.

The couple's 6-year-old daughter is now in the care of family members.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced on Friday that Tovar was facing several criminal charges related to murder. Read the complaint here.

"It is further alleged that the defendant intentionally killed Ms. Erwin while lying in wait, within the meaning of Penal Code section 190.2(a)(15), and that the defendant personally and intentionally discharged a firearm within the meaning of Penal Code sections 12022.53(d), and 12022.5(a)(1)," said the District Attorneys office in a statement.

Tovar's arraignment was continued to May 12.


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