The man and woman found dead in a home near Chowchilla have been identified as Mexican nationals, according to the Madera County Sheriff’s Office.
Armando Villanueva, 70, and Marta Torres, 63, who are residents of Mexico, had been visiting family in Chowchilla for the last “several months,” the sheriff’s office said on Wednesday.
Both victims showed “signs of apparent trauma” but investigators have not completed autopsies to determine the cause of death, deputies said. That’s expected to be done by the end of the week.
The Chowchilla Police Department responded to a residential fire call at 12:14 a.m. Tuesday in the 24000 block of Robertson Boulevard, according to the sheriff’s office.
The fires were described as spot fires, according to Madera County Sheriff’s Cmdr. Bill Ward. As they arrived, they found two dead bodies in the home, according to the release. Madera County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the incident as a double homicide.
Ward also confirmed that the other half of the duplex the couple lived in was being investigated by the California Department of Justice as a clandestine methamphetamine lab.
The Department of Justice has cleaned and removed all evidence and material from the conversion lab, according to a release on Wednesday.
Anyone with information is asked to call Madera County Sheriff’s Office at 559-675-7770 or Valley Crime Stoppers at 559-498-7867.