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Body found burning in Alpine! What's the story with that?

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UT San Diego:

4 arrested in Alpine slaying knew victim

Woman's charred body found on dirt road

By Lyndsay Winkley2:08 p.m.April 22, 2014Updated5:33 p.m.

ALPINE — Four people were arrested last week in connection with the death of a woman whose smoldering body was found in Alpine last month, sheriff's officials said Tuesday.

Kimberly Renee Hayes, 35, of Lakeside, was shot to death in an El Cajon apartment March 8. Her body was dumped on a dirt road near Sequan Truck Trail the next day and set on fire, sheriff's homicide Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said. Her remains were found before dawn that morning by a Sweetwater Authority employee.

On April 18, Jesse Mendoza, 29, was arrested by sheriff's homicide investigators and members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force on suspicion of murder, arson and possession of a firearm silencer. He was arrested at a hotel in El Cajon. He was booked into jail with a $2 million bail.

Matthew Williams, 30, and his girlfriend Lauren Huett, 33, were also arrested that day at another hotel in El Cajon. Huett was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy and accessory. Williams was arrested on suspicion of murder, according to jail records. His bail was set at $1 million.

The next day, Jennifer Stein, 31, Mendoza's girlfriend, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy and accessory as well.

All four lived in El Cajon. They were friends with Hayes and the five may have been staying in the apartment where she was killed, Giannantonio said.

Investigators believe the killing was connected to Hayes' attempt to gain custody of Stein and Mendoza's newborn child.

Hayes' father - Harvey Hayes, 77, of Clovis - said his daughter lived a troubled life and had gotten out of jail six days before she was killed. He also said her 14-year-old daughter came to live with him several years ago because Hayes worked long hours as an EMT for Scripps Hospital Emergency Room. A wrist injury and subsequent surgeries put her out of work, he said.

She was also survived by her mother and a brother who live in Clovis.

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