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Couple Released in Slaying of Relative

March 18, 1994|From a Times Staff Writer

SANTA ANA — A Santa Ana man and his wife were released Thursday after Orange County authorities said they lacked evidence to charge the couple with shooting his mother to death on an apartment balcony.

Santos Alvarez Roque and Maria Bruno Soto, both 24, had been arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of homicide. His mother, Valentina Roque, 55, was killed Sunday night by what police initially believed was random gunfire.

In an interview after the shooting, a tearful Roque had called for an end to gun violence. Police later said his account of the incident conflicted with his wife's and with evidence investigators discovered.

But on Thursday, Deputy Dist. Atty. Clyde Von Der Ahe said there was "insufficient evidence" to hold them. He added that the investigation is continuing.

Santa Ana police Lt. Robert Helton said Thursday that his investigators are "convinced the shooting took place in the apartment."

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