Bay Area man arrested on suspicion of decapitating relative and taking her head

WANTED: Assistance Needed in Locating a Homicide Suspect Luis Gustavo Aroyo-Lopez
The Santa Rosa Police Department posted this Wanted sign Friday on X, formerly known as Twitter, asking the public for help locating suspect Luis Gustavo Aroyo-Lopez. Lopez was apprehended later that day. (Santa Rosa Police Department)

A 23-year-old Santa Rosa man was arrested Friday in San Francisco on suspicion that he decapitated a female relative the day before and took her head when he fled the scene, police said.

On Thursday afternoon, officers responded to a home in northwest Santa Rosa after receiving reports of a possible homicide, according to the Santa Rosa Police Department. Officers found the body of a woman who had been decapitated and her head was missing.

The head of the victim, who has not been named, was later recovered in an open area in Santa Rosa, said Lt. Christopher Mahurin of the Santa Rosa Police Department.

Luis Gustavo Aroyo-Lopez, a relative of the victim, was identified as a suspect in the killing through police interviews, Mahurin said. Police did not specify how Aroyo-Lopez was related to the victim.

Aroyo-Lopez was arrested without incident Friday morning at the Transit Bay Terminal in San Francisco after a San Francisco Police Department officer recognized him, Mahurin said.

He is being held on two felony counts in a Sonoma County jail and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, authorities said. His bail has not been set.

The suspect was recently released from state prison and placed on community supervision, police said. Aroyo-Lopez had previous felony charges for assault with a deadly weapon and weapons possession, which were unrelated to the victim killed Thursday, according to police and court records.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.