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Huntington Beach police arrest man on suspicion of murder, victim’s remains identified

The Maple Ridge mobile home park on the 7800 block of Slater Avenue in Huntington Beach on Monday.
Police were called Saturday to the Maple Ridge mobile home park on the 7800 block of Slater Avenue in Huntington Beach, where reports of a foul odor led to the discovery of human remains.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

Huntington Beach police have arrested a man on suspicion of homicide, after the body of a woman was discovered Saturday at a residence on the 7800 block of Slater Avenue, officials reported.

Local media outlets reported human remains were excavated from a mobile home park, after several residents reported smelling a foul odor in the vicinity.

The Orange County coroner’s office on Tuesday identified the victim as Gina Lockhart, 60, of Huntington Beach.

A person of interest — Antonio Padilla, 34, also of Huntington Beach — was arrested shortly after 12:15 a.m. Sunday on suspicion of murder, according to police. Padilla was due to appear Tuesday in a Santa Ana courtroom for an arraignment hearing.

Officers responded to the location at 3 p.m. on Saturday related to reports of suspicious circumstances at the residence, according to a release issued by the city’s police department Sunday. They immediately secured the location and requested assistance from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

The body of a deceased adult woman was found at the scene, and her death was determined to be suspicious, the release indicated. Details about Lockhart’s cause of death were not being made available to the public as of Tuesday, but court records indicated the murder is thought to have taken place on or near June 30.

The suspect, whom court records indicate also goes by the names Tony Padilla and Anthony Zendejas, was convicted of felony vandalism in March 2021 and was sentenced to serve two years’ probation. Court records show he was in violation of his probation at the time of his arrest on Sunday.

Padilla was previously ordered to serve two years in prison after pleading guilty in 2017 to another felony count of vandalism and a charge of grossly negligent discharge of a pellet gun. In that incident, he was arrested for shooting a BB gun at HBPD’s Oakview police substation four times, shattering a glass window while officers worked inside the building, the Daily Pilot reported.

The homicide is being investigated by Huntington Beach police detectives and members of the Orange County Crime Lab, a division of the sheriff’s department.

Anyone who may have information pertaining to the incident is encouraged to call the Huntington Beach Police Department’s WeTip Hotline at (714) 375-5066. Individuals wishing to provide an anonymous tip may call the OC Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.

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Updates

2:18 p.m. July 19, 2022: This story was updated to reflect the identity of the victim, along with further details regarding the suspect.


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