Two charged with murder in Fountain Valley homicide case

A  woman was found dead in her car near the intersection of Slater Avenue and Tradewinds Street in Fountain Valley  July 19.
A homicide investigation began after a woman was found dead in her car from a gunshot wound near the intersection of Slater Avenue and Tradewinds Street in Fountain Valley on July 19.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Two suspects were charged with murder on Thursday in connection with the death of a 26-year-old Long Beach woman in Fountain Valley last month.

Oliver Reynaldo Leon, 27, and Mary Diedra Chavez, 25, have both been charged with murder and conspiracy to commit a crime, court records show.

Fountain Valley police responded to a call concerning a traffic incident near the intersection of Slater Avenue and Tradewinds Street at 6:11 p.m. on July 19.

Fountain Valley police have identified Phia Marie Albanese as the 26-year-old Long Beach woman whose body was found in her car at the intersection of Amberwood Circle and Tradewinds Street last month.

Authorities then found Phia Marie Albanese, 26, of Long Beach in the driver’s seat of her car, which had come to a stop along the curb on the south side of the residential street Amberwood Circle.

Albanese was pronounced dead at the scene. Fountain Valley police opened a homicide investigation after discovering that Albanese had sustained a gunshot wound.

Fountain Valley police spokesman Sgt. Donald Farmer said the homicide investigation marks the first for the department since 2015.

A criminal complaint detailing the incident alleges that Leon and Chavez traveled from Los Angeles County to Tustin with two additional co-conspirators, then called Albanese in order to “lure her out of a hotel room,” according to a City News Service report.

Prosecutors reportedly allege that Leon and Chavez got into Albanese’s car with her when leaving the hotel, and the unidentified co-conspirators followed in a black Mercedes Benz.

Per the report, the complaint alleges that the suspects directed Albanese to turn onto Tradewinds Street, took her phone, and then Leon shot her in the head three times.

Chavez is scheduled to be arraigned on Aug. 18 at 10 a.m., according to court documents. Jail records show that she is being held at the Intake Release Center with bail set at $1,002,000.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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