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Police Seek Ex-Boarder of Slain Woman

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Police are searching for the former boarder of a 53-year-old woman whose body was found stuffed in the trunk of her car last week.

Raymond Gutierrez Pereda, 44, who had rented a room in Mary Ann O’Neil’s Placentia home for about three years, is wanted for questioning, police said. The two apparently had a platonic relationship and met after Pereda responded to her rental ad.

“He had a three-year relationship with the victim, " police spokeswoman Corinne Loomis said. “We want to find out from him what kind of lifestyle she led, what activities she might have been involved in. And maybe some of that information will help us find out what happened to her.”

O’Neil’s 1992 white Infiniti was found at 2 a.m. Nov. 17 in a restaurant parking lot by a police officer after friends and family had reported her missing, officials said. She was killed by a blow to the head, Loomis said.

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Pereda, who is unemployed but previously worked as a cabinetmaker, moved out of O’Neil’s home in the 500 block of Carnation Drive about a month ago to look for work in Utah, police said.

He apparently didn’t find a job and returned to Orange County, where he rented a room in an Anaheim Hills home. When police went there Sunday, Pereda ran out the back door and escaped after a short chase.

“Because the fog had rolled in by that time, we lost him,” Loomis said. “Maybe he ran because of something unrelated to O’Neil’s murder. Maybe he had parking warrants or gambling problems. We just want to question him to find out more about the victim’s circumstance.”

Police believe Pereda is driving a 1990 maroon Chevrolet pickup with tinted windows and California license plate 4A10308. He is known to frequent Anaheim, Temecula, Las Vegas and Las Cruces, N.M.. His son lives in Yorba Linda.

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Pereda, who came from Mexico with a green card, is 5 feet 8, about 170 pounds, with graying black hair.

Investigators said they still have no motive for the killing and have not found the weapon. Detectives request that anyone with information call (714) 993-8164.


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