Woman Killed Man, 78, and Hurt Wife, Police Say

A woman who had known an elderly couple for three years allegedly killed the 78-year-old man and critically injured his 90-year-old wife before setting their San Pedro home on fire, police said.

Rosalba Contreras, 39, remained in custody in Women’s Central Jail on Wednesday after her arrest following Tuesday’s incident. She is expected to be arraigned today, said Los Angeles Police Det. Rudy Lemos.

Valentine Partida was found dead by city firefighters when they arrived at the couple’s house, Lemos said.

They doused the flames in 17 minutes and were able to rescue Elvira Partida, who was reported in critical condition Wednesday in San Pedro Peninsula Hospital, the detective said.


Lemos said that Contreras went to visit the Partidas at their home near the beach, where an argument with the husband over money escalated into a fight.

“She hit him with a hammer over the head,” said Lemos. Contreras tried to hide her crime by setting the house on fire, he said.

Lemos said that Elvira Partida was bedridden when Contreras allegedly stabbed her in the upper body.