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House Painter Arrested in Unidentified Woman's Beating

June 16, 2004|Susan Anasagasti | Times Staff Writer

A Rancho Santa Margarita house painter has been arrested on suspicion of badly beating a still-unidentified woman and leaving her for dead in the Santa Ana Mountains, authorities said Tuesday.

Marin Raul Salvador, 31, was arrested late Monday at his apartment on suspicion of attempted murder and assault with intent to commit rape.

Two mountain bikers found the partially dressed woman unconscious and lying face-down in a pool of blood Monday morning, about 10 feet from Trabuco Creek Road -- a mile from Salvador's Villa La Paz apartment complex.

The woman remains unconscious and in critical condition at Western Medical Center-Santa Ana, and authorities have been unable to identify her or even determine her ethnicity, said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

"She was so severely beaten that detectives couldn't tell whether she was Caucasian or Hispanic," Amormino said.

He added that she carried no identification and that they have yet to match her to a missing-person's report.

Amormino said the woman was beaten with a weapon found nearby. He would not be more specific. Investigators believe Salvador attacked the woman late Sunday but said they weren't sure what prompted the beating.

Officials declined to say what led them to investigate Salvador in connection with the case. "We believe that he had just met her," Amormino said. "We don't know exactly where they met."

Salvador is being held without bail at the Men's Central Jail in Santa Ana.

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