A 56-year-old California man is accused of killing and dismembering his wife before carting her remains in a suitcase and then burning them, PEOPLE confirms.
Valentino Gutierrez was arrested after the Los Angeles County Fire Department was called to extinguish a fire and discovered an unidentified body at the scene, officials said.
Gutierrez faces murder and arson charges filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Bail was set at $2,170,000.
Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department interviewed witnesses, checked video surveillance and used bloodhounds to lead them to Gutierrez, officials said in a press release.
“[D]etectives believe Gutierrez murdered and dismembered the victim in an abandoned restaurant,” the press release alleges. “After dismembering the body, Gutierrez placed it in a suitcase.”
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Detectives believe the victim is the suspect’s wife, 31-year-old Tiana Alfred. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office has not officially identified her, but is working on notifying next of kin.
“To dismember an individual like that is pretty grotesque,” LAPD Capt. Billy Hayes told reporters Tuesday afternoon, according to the Los Angeles Times. “It takes an awful lot of effort and determination by an individual, which is pretty cold.”
Shortly after midnight on Feb. 1, officials believe Gutierrez allegedly boarded the Gold Line train, a light rail in Los Angeles County, along with a bicycle and his suitcase with the victim’s body parts.
• For more compelling true crime coverage, follow our Crime magazine on Flipboard.
The suitcase and body parts were discovered beneath a highway overpass, according to the article.
Detectives arrested Gutierrez after he left a homeless shelter, officials told the Los Angeles Times. It is believed Gutierrez and his wife had been living in a shelter for months.
If convicted, Gutierrez faces life in prison. He is expected to make his first appearance in court on Feb. 15, a day after his birthday.
It was not immediately clear if he has retained an attorney.