A 31-year-old Ontario man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering Pamela Thompson, the 19-year-old Riverside woman who was run over with her own stolen vehicle on Nov. 7 and died three days later.
Paul Douglas Anderson was arrested by Riverside police investigators on suspicion of murder and possession of stolen property. Police arrested Anderson at a Yucaipa residence on Friday, along with David Ramos, 38, from Upland, who was arrested on suspicion of forgery and possessing stolen property.
Thompson's stepfather said the victim's circle of family and friends had "no clue" to who Anderson and Ramos are. He described the theft of the 10-year-old car as an apparently random crime that turned into something far more tragic.
Sgt. Steve Johnson, who heads the department's homicide unit, declined to disclose how investigators had linked Anderson to the murder. Investigators also would not say what allegedly stolen items in Ramos' possession had linked him to the crime.
Thompson's 1993 Nissan Sentra was found Thursday morning near the intersection of Libby and Huston drives, less than one mile from where it had been stolen from the parking lot at Thompson's apartment complex.
Anderson was arrested less than 30 hours after the vehicle was found.
Investigators found evidence in Anderson's possession that connected him to the car theft and Thompson's slaying, Johnson said.
Noting that the victim was to be buried today, Joe Dietz, Thompson's stepfather, said, "This will absolutely help give us a little bit of closure."
Dietz, who was the first to find Thompson's body, said, "I was getting sick of the fact that nothing was happening. I thought this would drag on for months." He found the victim's body lying in a pool of blood on the night of Nov. 7, seconds after she placed a cellular phone call to tell her mother that her car was missing. Thompson then told her mother that she saw the car being driven directly toward her. The call ended with Thompson screaming.
Along with a fractured pelvis and broken facial bones, Thompson suffered a brain injury that stopped blood flow to her brain and rendered her brain dead, Dietz said.
Thompson's family unanimously agreed to let a doctor remove her from an apparatus that sustained her breathing. She died soon afterward at Riverside Community Hospital.
A private funeral ceremony for Thompson will be held today in Riverside.
Anderson and Ramos will probably be arraigned in Riverside County Superior Court on Monday.