Man arrested in connection with deadly house fire

By Gina Yarbrough

Vista, CA–A man was arrested on suspicion of setting a house fire that killed one person on October 27 in Vista, authorities said.

The suspect was identified as 50-year-old Gregory Triana Villegas. He was charged with one count of murder and one count of arson. He was transported and booked into the Vista Detention Facility, the Sheriff’s Department said. 

Deputies received a call around 8 p.m. of a house fire in the 100 block of Palmyra Drive. The home was occupied by several people.

When deputies and fire crews arrived on the scene, they began evacuating and extinguishing the blaze. They noticed that one of the residents was missing. Fire department personnel entered the residence, but due to the flames and heat were unable to locate the person. Once the fire was contained, fire crews went back inside the residence and located a dead body inside a bedroom. The victim has not been identified at this time.

Sheriff’s Department Bomb and Arson detectives, a fire specialist from Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and homicide detectives arrived on the scene to collect evidence from the house. Based on their investigation, they learned the fire was intentionally set.

Deputies launched a search for the suspect after they obtained a description of him.

A deputy located a person matching the suspect’s description walking near the area, and detained him without incident.

The motivation and circumstances of the arson are still under investigation.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Homicide Unit at (858) 285-6330/after hours at (858) 565-5200.  You can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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