Capt. John Espinoza confirmed the woman’s identity Monday afternoon following an autopsy earlier that day by the San Joaquin County Coroner’s Office.
Patel was pronounced dead at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital about an hour after an alleged attack was reported at 7:12 p.m. at the 639 W. 11th St. motel, according to Tracy police reports.
Stephen Andrew Carreiro, 25, of Tracy, was arrested at the motel following a struggle with police, Lt. Greg Farmanian of the Tracy Police Department said at the scene Saturday.
Carreiro is currently being held at San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp on felony charges of murder, burglary and resisting police, and a misdemeanor charge of obstructing EMS personnel.
No bond has been set, and he is scheduled to appear in the Manteca branch of San Joaquin County Superior Court on Tuesday, July 10, according to the county sheriff's department website.
The office door at the motel was locked Monday, and employees spoke to guests through a glass window.
An employee there said that the owners were with members of the victim’s family, and that no public statement on their behalf would be made until after the funeral. The employee didn’t know if a date for services had been set.
Espinoza confirmed Monday that a knife was recovered at the scene by investigators, but wouldn’t speculate if the blade was used in the alleged attack.
Carreiro was taken to Sutter Tracy and treated for undisclosed injuries the night of the alleged attack. He was booked into county jail at 9:33 a.m. Sunday, July 8, according to the sheriff’s website.
Police originally responded to the motel for a call of a naked man fighting with two elderly women.
When officers arrived, Espinoza said, they located and arrested Carreiro, following an alleged struggle with the suspect, and then found the victim "adjacent to the office of the motel.”
Hotel employees and guests were reportedly restraining Carreiro when police arrived.
Espinoza wouldn’t release any more details about why Carreiro was at the motel or how he came in contact with the victim, because “it could damage the integrity of our investigation.”
“We’re still trying to lock down some witnesses right now,” he said. “We don’t want the defense arguing (at trial) that the witness pool was tainted.”
Espinoza also wouldn’t confirm or deny reports that the victim was sexually assaulted, but did note that the public should let investigators determine the circumstances of the incident before “you start believing in rumors.”
“I can say that the person responsible for this crime is in custody and not out there terrorizing the streets,” Espinoza said.
Officer Michael Silva, public information officer for the Stockton Police Department, refuted previous claims on Monday that Carreiro was also a suspect in a murder in that city on July 7.
He said Stockton police investigators initially looked at the Tracy murder because it involved an elderly person. But Silva said they have since ruled out any “direct link” between the two cases.
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