SANTA ANA (CNS) - A 33-year-old man was behind bars today on suspicion of killing his girlfriend, who went missing out of Mission Viejo in January of last year and whose body has never been found.
Kerwin Andrew Varela, who is being held on $1 million bail, is scheduled for arraignment on April 1 in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana.
Varela is accused of killing 31-year-old Sara Michelle Rose Ray of Mission Viejo, who was reported missing by her family in January of last year, according to Jaimee Blashaw of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Her family told investigators she was believed to have been missing since November 2020, Blashaw said
Investigators concluded in October that the case was a homicide after they reviewed phone, financial and travel records, Blashaw said. An arrest warrant was obtained for Varela in October, and the suspect was later found in Florida, where Miami-Dade police took him into custody on March 15, Blashaw said.
Varela was extradited back to California and booked on March 20 on suspicion of murder.
Investigators did not disclose a motive or possible cause of death and have not been able to recover the body.