A 56-year-old man faces four murder charges in the slaying last week of a family in their Sacramento, California, home

By Christine Pelisek
March 27, 2017 07:31 PM
Advertisement
alvin-mia-vasquez
Credit: Courtesy Sacramento City Unified School District

A 56-year-old man faces four murder charges in the slayings last week of a family in their Sacramento, California, home.

Salvador Vasquez-Oliva was charged Monday with the special circumstance murders of 45-year-old Angelique Vasquez; her two kids, Mia Vasquez, 14, and Alvin Vasquez, 11; and her niece, 21-year-old Ashley Coleman, PEOPLE confirms.

Vasquez-Oliva has not yet entered a plea. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 18.

His lawyer could not be reached for comment.

The four victims were found Thursday morning inside their rental home in the Northern California neighborhood of South Land Park Hills, after a worried relative alerted police.

It is unclear how the victims died. However, according to a charging document obtained by PEOPLE, all four were killed with “a blunt force instrument.” Autopsies are pending.

Vasquez-Oliva, an office technician with the California Employment Development Department, was arrested in San Francisco a few hours later and booked into the Sacramento County Jail.

Police declined to comment on the suspect’s relationship with the victims, and they would not mention a possible motive.

But a neighbor says Vasquez-Oliva moved into the 1100 block of 35th Avenue in Sacramento with Vasquez and their two children, Mia and Alvin, two years ago.

The kids’ school district also described Vasquez-Oliva as their father, though his relationship with Angelique at the time of the killing was not clear. (The family could not be reached for comment on Monday.)

• 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.

Salvador-Vasquez-Oliva
Salvador Vasquez-Oliva

‘I Told Her Not to Go Back to Him’

Neighbor Rita Munoz, who lives three doors away from the site of the homicides, tells PEOPLE she was alerted to the tragedy around 7:15 a.m. on Thursday.

“I was coming home from church and I saw the SUV police car and the only thing I thought was, ‘Oh no. I wonder what he did now,’ ” she says. “I just call it evil, evil, evil.”

Munoz says she saw police cars at the victims’ home twice in the past two years — though Sacramento police could not confirm this.

She says she was standing outside her home when Angelique’s parents arrived at the scene. “They were very distraught,” she says. “Her mother was saying, ‘My babies, my babies. I lost all my grandbabies.’ It was just very very sad.”

Angelique’s mother said, “I told her not to go back to him,” according to Munoz.

Mia, an eighth-grader, attended nearby Sam Brannan Middle School. Her brother, Alvin, had recently transferred to Sutterville Elementary School where he attended fifth grade.

“It has been a struggle for the community and the schools,” says Maria L. Lopez, the Sacramento City Unified School District’s communications manager.

“Both students were very popular,” Lopez tells PEOPLE. “Mia was a goalie on her school soccer team, and Alvin was a polite student who got along well with other students and loved basketball. They seemed like pretty special kids. It is quite horrific and beyond comprehension.”

About Vasquez-Oliva, Lopez says, “I just know that the principal at Alvin’s school described him as being supportive of his son.”

Angelique, who also worked at the state’s Employment Development Department for 11 years, most recently as a personnel technician, was “very loving and supportive of both of her children,” Lopez says.

Munoz says her grandkids regularly played with Mia and Alvin and they walked to school together. “I saw the kids almost daily when they walked, because my grandkids would want to walk with them to school or home,” she says.

“The girl [Mia] stood out to me, because I felt like there was something wrong,” Munoz says. “She didn’t look happy. She looked very much to herself.”

The quadruple homicide has shaken the community.

“We are all heartbroken,” Munoz says. “It is really hard to believe. Everyone is devastated it happened here.”