“It’s a complex case. We’re still working on it.”
— Escondido police Lt. Ed Varso on death of woman found murdered in car on freeway ramp Monday.
Escondido police Thursday morning closed the Interstate 15 on-ramp at El Norte Parkway for a second time in four days continuing to comb for clues in the murder of a 38-year-old woman driver just now identified as Elizabeth Antoinette Perez of Fontana.
Detectives previously said releasing the woman’s name would hinder an ongoing investigation into how she came to die inside her black Mercury Sable on the ramp. They have termed the death “suspicious.”
In a statement issued Thursday evening, Escondido police Lt. Ed Varso said Perez died of a head injury, adding, there was no indication the general public was in danger
Perez was found just after 1 p.m. Monday on the right shoulder of the northbound freeway ramp covered in blood with a severe head wound. The car’s front driver and passenger side windows were shattered.
Varso, at that time, said no obvious indications were present indicating how she died. The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office completed an autopsy Thursday without revealing any details.
Escondido police took the unusual step of closing the ramp area around 9 a.m. Thursday, saying investigators needed to re-examine the crime scene. The ramp was re-opened around 11:30 a.m.
This was the second time police closed the ramp. They also closed it for more than five hours Monday after discovering the dead woman. The coroner removed the victim’s body and towed the car away around 6 p.m. Monday.
Telling reporters “It’s a complex case. We’re still working on it,” Varso said the Mercury Sable probably was on the ramp for a long time, but less than 24 hours, before a motorist saw the woman slumped over in her car and reported it to police.
Although evidence techs worked through the crime scene, Varso said he wouldn’t disclose if a weapon had been used or whether the car belonged to the dead woman along with other details. Police said the vehicles wasn’t involved in a collision, adding personal items like a handbag and clothes were in the car.
Verso asked anybody with additional information about the situation should contact Escondido police at (760) 839-4722 or leave an anonymous tip at (760) 743-8477.