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Ventura County

Homicide Suspect Arrested

Crime: The Oxnard man is accused in the fatal shooting of his girlfriend in July.

September 07, 2002|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT | TIMES STAFF WRITER

An Oxnard gang member wanted on suspicion of shooting and killing his girlfriend in Ventura in July was taken into custody Friday at a friend's house in Oxnard, authorities said.

Harold Edward Marshall, 32, was being questioned in connection with the July 26 slaying of Irene Imelda Mata, 22, of Port Hueneme.

Authorities said Marshall had been sought on a $750,000 arrest warrant and would be booked into Ventura County Jail with bail set at the same amount.

According to Ventura Police Lt. Doug Auldridge, Mata was shot once in the head as she and Marshall sat in a 1991 Chevy Camaro in the 3000 block of Bunsen Avenue, near Buenaventura Golf Course.

Witnesses said that after the shooting, the Camaro rear-ended an abandoned van on Bunsen Avenue and a man ran from the car. A gun was found near the scene.

When police arrived, they found Mata, the mother of a 3-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter, dead in the passenger seat. Officers searched extensively for Marshall but he eluded them.

Marshall, who remained at large, was identified as a suspect after officers located a friend from Ventura who had loaned him the Camaro.

During the weeks before his arrest, officers sought help from the public through the Crime Stoppers hotline and interviewed Marshall's mother. Authorities believed Marshall had been hiding in the Oxnard area.

On Friday, police acted on a tip that Marshall was at a friend's house in the 4000 block of G Street in Oxnard. He spotted officers and ran out the back door but was apprehended.

The motive for the shooting remains unclear.

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