Huntington Beach resident Christopher Ken Ireland, 37, was arrested by Westminster Police on suspicion of killing two Orange County women Jan. 2.
WPD officers and Orange County Fire Authority arson investigators were called in by OCFA firefighters due to suspicious circumstances surrounding a house fire in the 5000 block of Northwestern Way in Westminster on Jan. 1, according to police.
Homeowner Yolanda Holtrey, 59, and her friend, Michelle Luke, 49, of Huntington Beach were not in the home. WPD detectives uncovered evidence at the scene that led them to investigate it as a homicide.
The two women’s bodies were located in Newport Beach on the morning of Jan. 2 and Ireland was arrested.
“This crime appears to be an isolated incident and we do not believe any other suspects are outstanding. The motive for the crime is still under investigation,” said WPD Commander Cameron Knauerhaze.
Knauerhaze said the homicides may have stemmed from a New Year’s Eve get-together that spilled over into the morning of the murders.“It looks like they’re all acquaintances,” he said.
The Orange County Coroner’s Office is performing autopsies to determine the cause of death for the two women. According to Knauerhaze, the deaths were unrelated to the fire, which may have been an attempt to cover up the crime scene.
Anyone with information related to this crime is urged to contact WPD Homicide Det. Wilson at 714-898-3315. Tips also can be offered anonymously through Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS or at OCcrimestoppers.org.