California man charged with murder of homeless woman who was 'looking for a place to sleep'

There were at least eight recent incidents in Los Angeles where people threw flammable liquids or explosives at homeless people, injuring and even killing them


                            California man charged with murder of homeless woman who was 'looking for a place to sleep'
Carlos Urias (Madera Police Department)

MADERA, CALIFORNIA: Joanna Otero, 41, a homeless woman, was looking for a place to sleep when she was assaulted by a California man, police said.

Carlos Urias, 49, was charged with murder in the death of Otera, according to the police. 

The police first got a call about an injured person at 11.50 pm on December 23 and Madera Police said that she had injuries consistent with an assault. Although first responders came to the scene, they couldn't save the woman.

Otera succumbed to her injuries at the hospital. She had injuries to her chest, the Fresno Bee reported. She was likely searching for a place to sleep for the night, the police said. 

Urias, who was found by police afterward, was booked at Madera County Department of Corrections on December 27 night, the report said. He was identified after authorities combed through surveillance footage from the area. He was arrested near Yosemite and B Street on December 26.

"The arrest of Carlos does not replace the loss of Joanne Otero, but we hope his arrest starts the process of healing for the family and the community,” a spokesperson for the Madera Police Department said in a statement.

This comes after a string of news reports about homeless people being assaulted or worse. There were at least eight incidents in Los Angeles where people threw flammable liquids or explosives at homeless people, the Los Angeles Times reported. In August, Gustavo Zeledon, 59, was beaten with a pipe by three men while he was standing near his van in the 800 block of East 5th Street. 

He was struck several times on the head and when he fell on the pavement and hit his head, they stole some materials from his pockets. He had been left on the pavement for over an hour before he received any treatment. He succumbed to his injuries two weeks later at the hospital.

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