Merced County sheriff's deputies are working to extradite a man from Arizona who they believe is connected to the death of a woman whose body was found in a canal near Le Grand last week.
The coroner's division identified the woman as 34-year-old Maria Magdalena Garcia-Vargas, of Le Grand. Her body was discovered in a canal near Arboleda Drive and Mariposa Way by farm workers.
The sheriff's office investigated Garcia-Vargas' death as a homicide after finding suspicious evidence near the canal, including an abandoned car, officials said in a news release.
Detectives identified 31-year-old Bernabe Gonzalez, of Merced, as a person of interest. Investigators served a search warrant at Gonzalez's home on Monday and found evidence tying him to Garcia-Vargas' death.l, deputies said.
Detectives tracked him to Phoenix and issued an arrest warrant. Phoenix police arrested Gonzalez on Monday.
Investigators are in Phoenix and working to bring Gonzalez back to Merced where he will be booked into jail on suspicion of murder.
The investigation is ongoing. This story will be updated.
This is a developing story and will be updated.