Redlands Police arrested a man they suspect killed a Perris woman whose body was found dumped in a Redlands orange grove last February.
Below is the news release issued by the Redlands Police Department over the weekend:
Police arrested 34-year-old Sue Robert Seiuli shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, in the 900 block of Washington Street in Colton, for the February murder of 23-year-old Sylvia Marie Flores.
Flores’ body was found in an orange grove off Almond Avenue west of Alabama Street in Redlands on Feb. 26.
Detectives believe Flores was a prostitute working in the City of San Bernardino at the time of her death. Flores was last seen at a gas station at 6th and H streets in San Bernardino shortly before 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 25. She last spoke with her friends via text messages and phone calls at about noon that day.
Detectives began receiving tips identifying Seiuli as a suspect after a composite sketch and description of a vehicle was released to the public during a Sept. 12 press conference. Police obtained the sketch and vehicle description after DNA evidence recovered from Flores was matched to that of an unknown suspect involved in a kidnap, rape and assault in the areas of Highland and San Bernardino in 2003. Personal property belonging to Flores was also recovered near the area where the 2003 rape and assault occurred.
Shortly before midnight on April 19, 2003, the suspect contacted a female victim in the 25000 block of Baseline Avenue in the City of Highland. The victim voluntarily accepted a ride from the suspect who drove her to the 2200 block of West Washington Street in the City of San Bernardino where he forcibly raped the victim.
The victim escaped and police were notified. The suspect fled the scene and was never identified or apprehended. DNA samples were collected from the victim and submitted to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System database (CODIS) where they recently were matched to the DNA profile collected from Flores.
Redlands Police detectives interviewed the 2003 victim and obtained a composite sketch of the suspect.
The victim from the 2003 kidnapping was assaulted and raped within a short distance of West 7th Street in San Bernardino where police located additional evidence in Flores’ murder, leading detectives to believe the suspect was familiar with that area.
Seiuli was arrested near a family member’s home in Colton. He was transported to West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga where he is being held without bail for murder.